June 8, 2017 - Friends’ and Nepal Army won their respective matches to the advance to the semi-finals of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Championship being held at the ANFA Complex on Thursday.
Friends’ came from two goals behind to bag a thrilling 3-2 victory over Armed Police Force, while Nepal Army sidelined Saraswoti Youth Club 5-0 with ease.
APF looked all set to advance to the next round going in front as early as in the seventh minute through skipper Ajit Waiba. Their style of play and dominance over Kupandole based outfit in the first half was just the kind of start they needed to build on to the lead. Pradip Rana doubled the advantage for APF in the 33rdminute.
However, the second half of the match went completely in favour of Friends’ who not only scored thrice but dominated the play reducing APF to their halves for the entire 45 minutes.
Aashish KC opened the scoring for Friends’ in the 50th minute and Dikshit Thapa leveled the game scoring in the 79th minute. Nishan T Magar scored the match winner in the 90th minute.
Friends’ coach Ramesh Maharjan said the change in strategy to play Aashish KC upfront turned out to beneficial for them.
“ My boys could not play in the first but in the second few changes in the playing position proved to be very fruitful to us. Aashish was playing in the defense in the first half, but he is a kind of player who can fit in anywhere,” he said.
APF coach Roman Rasaili rued the missed chances. He added that the game could have easily gone their way had his player only converted some of the chances that came their way in the second half.
In the second match of the day, holder Nepal Army never had any difficulties overcoming Saraswoti Youth Club who gifted Army with two own goals.
Rishab Raj Adhikari gave Army the perfect start scoring an own goal in the 14th minute. From here on wards, it was Army all the way till the end.
Dinesh Yonzon doubled the lead for Army in the 69th minute. Sanjeet Rai scored in his own nets in the 78thminute to make it 3-0 for Army.
Gaurab Gurung added the other in the 84th minute and Manish Khadka hammered the final nail in the coffin in the 90+4 minutes.
|1st QF||APF||2 - 3||Friends||Played||1:15 PM||ANFA Complex|
|2nd QF||ARMY||5 - 0||Saraswoti||Played||4:00 PM||ANFA Complex|
|3rd QF||JYC||V||Sankata||9-Jun||1:15 PM||ANFA Complex|
|4th QF||NPC||V||HSC||9-Jun||4:00 PM||ANFA Complex|