AFC President's Cup: MMC beats Sri Lanka Air Force SC 2-1

mmc celebration 2

Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) came back from after an early hiccup on Saturday to defeat home team Sri Lanka Air Force 2-1 in the AFC President's Cup that kicked off at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Saturday.

Kavindu Ishan had put the Sri Lankans in front after just five minutes but Shiva Shrestha's goal 10minutes before half-time saw the sides level at the break.

Anil Gurung then netted the decisive goal for Manang, who last qualified for the finals of the tournament in 2006, when he coolly converted a 61st minute penalty and got the MMC off to winning ways ahead of their second group stage game against Turkmen side FC HTTU on Monday.

"In the first half there was a lot of pressure as they went ahead early. But once we got our equaliser we were able to find our natural rhythm and dominate the game," said Manang coach Nabin Neupane.

"As we played with five midfielders, we were able to pack the middle and dominate ball possession.

"In our next match, however, we will look to instead play on the counter-attack, as FC HTTU are physical and strong."

"Despite the defeat, I am happy with the players' performances because they worked hard and did their best," said Sri Lanka Air Force coach Sampath Perera, who pinpointed the absence of the suspended Janaka Chaminda as a major factor for the defeat.

"We were lacking the midfield link that Chaminda normally provides us. His replacement tried hard but the reality is we were missing one of our really key players.

"I will watch FC HTTU in their game on 22nd of September and see if I need to come up with some new strategies and tactics for our next match."

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