Dharan, February 23, 2017:Â Sankata Club advanced to the final of the 19th Budha Subba Gold Cup football tournament with a 2-1 win over Rupandehi XI at the Anfa Technical grounds on Wednesday.
Man-of-the-match Anil Gurung struck a brace for the top-tier Nepali club while Deepak Rai pulled back one for Rupandehi. Sankata will now take on either Nepal Police Club or hosts Dharan FC â€˜Blueâ€™ in the championship showdown.
Gurung gave MMC the 23rd minute lead as the striker, after receiving a pass from Sajin Thapa, cut past Rupandehi custodian Dilip Chhetri before firing in the goal. Rai found the equaliser two minutes before break, as the forward got to the end of Amir Dangol pass before dodging past Sankata defence and slamming home the goal.
But Gurung made sure of Sankataâ€™s place in the final with his winning goal in the 79th minute, which he scored from the penalty spot. Sankata were awarded the spot kick after Saurav Magar tripped Dipesh Shrestha inside the area.
The Udaypur Gold Cup champions Sankata also missed several other goal scoring chances notably in the fourth minute when Ajayi Martins Kayode skied a shot in a situation where opponent goalkeeper was already beaten. Raj Paudel also head wide on a cross from Sushil Chhetri moments later. Lawal was also unlucky for Sankata as his strike hit the woodwork in the 56th minute. Lawal was also denied by goalkeeper Chhetri in the 70th.
Sankata coach Salyan Khadgi was happy with the performance of his boys. â€œI have no complaints against my boys as they played according to our plan,â€ said Khadgi. Khadgiâ€™s Rupandehi counterpart Dayaram Sapkota said: â€œOur miserable midfield cost us the game,â€ said Sapkota adding that they played under pressure all the time and failed to create clear cut chances.