Gangtok, October 23: Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) on Saturday registered a thrilling 4-3 tiebreaker victory over Camellia United Sikkim Sporting Club to enter the quarterfinals of the 32nd All India Governor´s Gold Cup Football Tournament at Gangtok, Sikkim. Palsang Lama scored the decisive spot-kick after in the dramatic match; the fate of which was decided through tiebreaker.
Earlier, the visitors were nearly out of the tournament when United Sikkim took the lead in the 11th minute of the extra time. The home team had taken the lead through Tenzing Tsephel. But thanks to an equaliser from MMC striker Sahukhala just five minutes before the extra time ended. Sahukhala sent the ball past net from close range out of scuffle as United Sikkim goalie Surjay Pariyar dropped the long shot of Deepak Bhusal. The teams were 1-1 till the extra time.
Earlier, United Sikkim made an impressive start. MMC’s Nirajan Khadka´s strike was saved by goalie Pariyar. Two minutes later Deepak Bhusal´s right flank shot went inches wide from the post. Similarly, Ganesh Khadka´s header was denied by united Sikkim goalie Pariyar in the second half.
MMC glovesman Bishal Shrestha also made some heroic saves in the match. Shrestha made a brilliant long stretch dive in the 10th minute to prevent Saran Sunam´s powerful shot from the box. In the extra time, Shrestha denied Sunam in one-on-one position.
MMC coach Bal Gopal Maharjan termed the victory ´Struggling´ one. “Our boys could not show their coordination as we were playing the first match in the tournament and we were not familiar with the ground condition as well. But we can put up better show in future,” said Maharjan.
United Sikkim skipper Lepcha was delighted with the team´s performance despite the defeat. “We put up very good show and we have taken this match only as the platform for the exposure of local players.”
MMC will take on Mohammedan Sporting Club, Kolkata in the quarterfinal match on Friday.
(Courtesy: My Republica)