Bal brace steers Three Star into finalSunil Bal scored a brace to guide Three Star Club to the final of Simara Gold Cup football tournament with a 4-2 win over Morang Football Club in Bara on Sunday.
Sunil Bal scored a brace to guide Three Star Club to the final of Simara Gold Cup football tournament with a 4-2 win over Morang Football Club in Bara on Sunday.
Bal struck either side of the break after Bishnu Gurung opened the scoring for Lalitpur-based outfits, who are chasing their third title of the season. Defender Ananta Tamang netted the fourth. By the time Karna Limbu scored twice for Morang it was too little too late for them.
Three Star have made it to the final for the fourth time in less than a month. They were crowned champions of the Itahari Gold Cup on January 27 and Budha Subba Gold Cup (Dharan) on February 10 before losing in the final of Aaha-Rara Gold Cup in Pokhara on February 3. Three Star will meet the winner of the second semi-final match between Tribhuvan Army Club and Birgunj United Club. The second semi-final will be played on Thursday.
Poor finishing in the early exchanges cost Morang dear. Bhuwan Basnet of Morang was denied early as in the fourth minute when Three Star’s foreign recruit Peter Segun dispossessed him in the danger zone. Four minutes later Limbu failed to utilise Dipak Rai’s cross. Basnet again squandered an opportunity in the 12th minute in one-on-one situation.
Gurung put Three Star ahead in the 23rd capitalising on a cross from Bal. Bal made it 2-0 in the 35th when he unleashed a scorcher from outside the area leaving custodian Surya Chhetri clueless. Man-of-the-match Bal netted his second individual goal four minutes into the second half after being fed by skipper Nirajan Khadka.
Three Star appeared headed for a big margin win after defender Tamang headed home the fourth goal in the 77th. Confident of their victory Three Star coach Meghraj KC replaced regular goalkeeper Alan Neupane with Abhishek Baral in the 80th minute. The decision backfired and Limbu netted twice for Morang in the four-minute span to unsettle Three Star. Limbu cut the deficit in the 81st minute and made it 4-2 in the 84th minute.
Morang coach Paras Chaudhary said that two goals his side conceded in the first half became turning point of the match. “I am satisfied with the overall performance but poor finishing cost us dear,” said Chaudhary. “Scoring twice in the later stages was the positive aspect of the game.” His Three Star counterpart KC claimed his team was in total control the match despite conceded two late goals.