Sept. 22- Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club hopes of qualifying to the final of the AFC President’s Cup came to an end after they were beaten FC HTTU Asgabat 3-1 at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.
A hat-trick from Muhadov Sulyeman sealed a comfortable win for the league champions from Turkmenistan who enjoyed a numerical advantage over Manang for the last 30 minutes following Deepak Bhusal’s marching orders in the 76th minute.
Asgabat now face the home team, Sri Lanka Air Force, on September 24 to decide who goes through to the next round. In the two matches, Manang scored thrice and conceded four.
Having won the first match against Sri Lanka, Manag went into the match hoping to produce the same kind of result. The first half turned out just fine, with the score tied at 1-1. Muhadov had opened the scoring for the Turkmenistan outfit scoring in the 26th minute only for Sujal Shrestha to level the game in the 35th minute.
The early minutes of the second half was also evenly balanced though Asgabat had appeared more aggressive, Manang had managed to keep them at bay.
However, things turned Asgabat’s way in the 74th minute when Muhadov scored his second goal of the game. An unattended ball inside the D-box was charged in by Muhadov. Though Biraj Maharjan had made desperate attempt to make a goal-line clearance, the ball had already crossed the line.
Deepka Bhusal’s sending off in the 76th minute made it easier for Asgabat as Muhadov scored his third in the 83rd minute.
"I'm happy for the performance today as FC HTTU are a strong team," said Manang coach Neupane. "The second goal was the turning point in the game for us, as we had a lot of pressure after that went in and we struggled to get back into the game."
Manang Lineup: JITENDRA KARKI, BIRAJ MAHARJAN, MBILE LEONEL STEPHEN 66' (yellow card), DEEPAK BHUSAL, 76' (red card), SHIVA SHRESTHA, ZIKAHI LEONCE DODOZ 69'(Sub Nirajan Malla IN), ANIL GURUNG 83' (Sulav Maskey IN), SUJAL SHRESHTHA 35' (goal), RUPESH K.C., DIPAK RAI, BISHAL SHRESTHA.