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 MPC in AFC final...... hurray!!!!!!
SAVE! for ease of future access.
Posted on 09-27-07 9:20 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Mahendra upset Regar-TadAZ to enter AFC President's Cup final
28 September 2007

Mahendra Police Club players celebrate their victory over Regar-TadAZ in the AFC President's Cup semi-final in Lahore on Thursday. Photo by: Stanley Chou

LAHORE: Nepal’s Mahendra Police Club broke the hegemony of Central Asian teams on the two final slots of the AFC President’s Cup after beating Tajikistan’s former champions Regar-TadAZ 2-1 in the semi-final here at the Punjab Stadium on Thursday.

Regar-TadAZ may have been better equipped and favourites to make it to the final of this third edition of the tournament but the Nepalese club were not willing to give them any quarter.

The sheer grit of the Nepalese club in the end saw them emerge victorious in the last minute of the game. Now they face the winners of the second semi-final between Dordoi-Dynamo and Ratnam in the final on September 30.

This indeed was a huge upset for Regar-TadAZ and their players seemed crestfallen at having been sent packing without having another shot at real glory.

The game was tantalisingly in the balance, with Regar-TadAZ after the break time and again making serious inroads into the Mahendra zone without getting any reward for it; the honours from the first half were pretty much even at 1-1.

And right when the match seemed to be drifting towards penalty kicks, Mahendra skipper Ramesh Budhathoki came to the fore, stunning Regar-TadAZ by converting a long pass in the death – in the 90th minute.

That left Regar-TadAZ with virtually no time to recover but the three minutes of injury time. There were a couple of efforts, desperate ones indeed, but they came to nought and it was Mahendra's turn to celebrate.

And why not, after all it had done its bit of giant-killing to create some history by adding a South Asian dimension to the one-way traffic of Central Asian dominance so far.

In the first half too, it was obvious that Mahendra intended to challenge the established order by putting up a doughty fight. As both sides lost a few opportunities to get ahead, Mahendra was in the main saved with its goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa saving his side from what were really good attempts. The most mentionable of these was from Manurdzhon Hakimov in the 20th minute, and its rebound as well.

In the 26th minute, Maruf Rustamov, fed well by midfielder Umarbaev, shot the ball past Thapa with a fierce drive. On the counterattack just fifty seconds later, Mahendra's Jumanu Rai gave the ball a spectacular run and his try bore into the net only to seem being ruled off-side.

But Rai persisted in making forays and in the 32nd minute, Manu Rai drove the ball past Alisher Dodov's right to score the equaliser. There were a few more opportunities for Regar but it was not their night, and at interval the scores were tied at 1-1.

But Mahendra’s holding of their nerves and defences made them walk out with an incredible win. Mahendra had come with the intent to challenge the established order and their poise and execution helped them prevail over a far superior side.

An elated Mahendra Police Club coach Birat Krishna Shrestha gave credit of this victory to the team. “Our plan was to watch initially and then attack. In the second half, we played defensive and relied on counter attacks. I am happy that this strategy paid off.”

“Their frontline was very fast in the initial period but our defenders did their job pretty well and did not succumb to the continuous pressure. The players displayed great team spirit and determination.”

Regar coach Makhmadjon Khabibulloev said: “My players committed many mistakes in midfield and failed to convert chances that came their way.”

“On the other hand, Mahendra players displayed good spirit. We knew that it will be a tough game and it was even till the last minute but a defensive error cost us the match.”
Posted on 09-27-07 9:34 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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can we atch the saved match from any cite?
Posted on 09-28-07 12:22 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Let's pray that Mahendra Police Club bring back home a Dashain gift for all Nepalese... AFC Cup.
Posted on 09-28-07 5:04 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Congrats MPC.

Our support is always with you. Grab that AFC President’s Cup and make our nation pride. Let's pray for it.

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