UDAYAPUR, Feb 4: Defending champion Three Star Club toiled hard to register a 4-3 victory over Morang XI here on Monday and entered the semifinals of the Second Udayapur Gold Cup football tournament.
Following the victory, Three Star joined three other A division teams in the last four of the tournament. Yeti Himalayan Sherpa will lock horns with Simrik Saraswati Club in the first semifinal on Tuesday while Three Star will take on Armed Police Force (APF) in the second semifinal on Wednesday.
Morang XI put Martyrs Memorial League leader Three Star under pressure on Monday as Lal Bahadur Lawati gave a 1-0 lead to Morang in the eighth minute of the match and Paras Limbu doubled the tally in the 23rd minute.
Three Star´s Nigerian recruit Victor cut the deficit with a goal in the 33rd minute but Paras Limbu netted his second goal four minutes later to give a 3-1 halftime lead to Morang XI.
However, Three Star bounced back in the second half and scored three goals to win the match 4-3. Three Star striker Anil Gurung scored in the 48th minute and Adewumi Femi made it 3-3 in the 59th minute.
Victor scored the winner for Three Star with his second goal in the 68th minute. He was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
"We arrived in Gaighat from Pokhara only on Sunday evening. We had to work hard for victory because of travel fatigue and minor injuries," said Three Star Coach Pradeep Humagain, who guided the Lalitpur-based club to Aaha-Rara Gold Cup triumph in Pokhara on Saturday.
His counterpart Paras Chaudhary said that his side could not perform as expected in the second half and wasted the lead taken in the first half. "However, it was a good performance against the A division leader," said Chaudhary.