Jhapa see off Army in tiebreaker, enter semisJhapa XI beat Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) 4-3 in tiebreaker to enter the semi-finals of the fifth Mai Valley Gold Cup football tournament on Friday.
Jhapa XI beat Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) 4-3 in tiebreaker to enter the semi-finals of the fifth Mai Valley Gold Cup football tournament on Friday.
The outcome was decided through spot kicks after 90 minutes of regulation play and 14 minutes of extra time ended in a 1-1 deadlock. Jhapa will now take on Himalayan Sherpa on Sunday for a place in the final.
The Army team took the lead 57th minute lead as Jitendra Karki’s powerful shot from edge of the area ricocheted of the bar and struck the back of goalkeeper Dinesh Thapa before crossing the goalline. Jhapa went all offence after conceding the goal and their pressure finally told in the 85th minute. Bikash Rai head home a perfectly weighed in freekick from Yogesh Gurung.
Even after the 14 minutes of extra time failed to break the deadlock, the match went into the tiebreaker. Yogesh Gurung, Bishal Rai, Bikram Limbu and Milan Rai converted from the spot while Army goalkeeper denied Victor. Deep Kumar Lama, Rupesh Chhetri and Bikash Tamang scored for Army while Jhapa custodian Dinesh Thapa Magar denied Bibek Basnet and Yuddha Shahi shot off target.
The Army club had lifted the first edition of the Mai Valley football tournament title while they crashed out of the semi-finals after losing to Nepal APF Club the next year. They lost the title showdown against Jhapa in the third edition and lost to Manang Marshyangdi in the semi-finals last year. It was the first time that Army failed to reach the semi-finals in five times after losing to Jhapa on Friday.
Army coach Chun Bahadur Thapa said they lost because they squandered too many scoring chances. “To add to our misery we were playing without some of the key members,” added Thapa. Bharat Khawas, Nawayug Shrestha, Bikesh Kuthu, Tanka Basnet and Santosh Basnet missed the tournament to fulfil their national team duties. The Army were also without Bikash Khawas, Suman Aryal and Sashank Angdambe who are currently in the U-23 closed camp training.
So far this season Army have won the Bishal Memorial Gold Cup in Birgunj, Madan Bhandari Gold Cup in Itahari and Jhapa Gold Cup in Birtamode. The departmental team, however, lost in the finals of Aaha-Rara Gold Cup and Simara Gold Club.
Jhapa coach Min Bahadur Basnet also lamented on the missed chances. “We should have closed out the match in regulation time but we wasted too many opportunities. It was a hard fought win in the end,” said Basnet.
Dauphins Family of Cameroon will take on Nepal Police Club in the first semi-final match on Saturday.