Jhapa-XI Football Club defeated Ruslan Three Star Club 3-1 in tie-breaker to advance to the final of the Mugmug Jhapa Gold Cup here at the Domalal Rajbanshi Stadium on Yesterday.
The first semi-final match of the tournament was decided on penalties after both the sides failed to break the deadlock in the regulation period of 90 minutes and 15 minutes of extra time. Jhapa made it to the fourth consecutive final but have not been able to win the title yet.
In tie-breaker, Pujan Uaprkoti, Devendra Tamang and goalkeeper Dinesh Thapa Magar scored for the home team, while Three Star goalkeeper Alen Neupane saved the shots from Heman Gurung and Karna Limbu.
For Three Star, only Rajin Dhimal was able to convert from the spot. Jhapa goalkeeper Dinesh Thapa Magar denied Buddha Limbu, while Rupesh KC and Mikchen Tamang shot off target.
Earlier, a powerful shot from Jhapa’s foreign recruit Francis Oami went inches wide in the 20th minute, while Kazim Bukhari struck against the cross bar with a header in the 82nd minute.
At the other end, Ajayi Martins headed wide on a pass from Sushil Rai. In the 30th minute, Rai though he found the back of the net after his header beat goalkeeper Thapa Magar but saw the ball cleared by defender Dilen Loktan from the goalline. Martins came close to scoring again in the 73rd minute but his powerful shot rebounded off the post.
Jhapa goalkeeper Dinesh Thapa Magar was named the man of the match and he earned Rs 15,000.
Jhapa coach Prabesh Katuwal was relieved with the win. “Some of the players could not perform as expected but we are happy to make it to the final,” he said. Three Star coach Meghraj KC rued the missed opportunities. “We could not score in regulation period but it was an excellent match for the spectators,” said KC, who also lauded the organisers for superb management of the tournament.
On Saturday, Tribhuvan Army Club will take on Dauphins Family Club of Cameroon in a rematch of Aaha Rara Gold Cup semi-finals. The departmental side had won 1-0 to end the winning streak of the visitors who have already bagged three titles in their first visit to Nepal.
Meanwhile, Deven Niraula won the 28-inch LED television — sponsored by Him Electronics of Birtamod — in a lucky draw for spectators.