Sonam Rinchen Saves the Day for Pokhara, Dhanglob Gets Easy Entrance
|Sonam Rinchen, the man who saved Pokhara from elimination|
Dharamsala, 11 June: Day 6 of the GCM football tournament was a day of -do or die- for the defending Champions Pokhara. Pokhara had secured two points and to book a space in the semis require them a win at any cost. Southern Stars who are on four points would otherwise find a place in the semis. Pokhara were to decide their fate as well as Southern Stars’. Doon Valley, hailed as a well organised and experienced team did not play any match against Pokhara last year and yesterday’s match was decided to be taken as a challenge to beat the defending champions. For Doon Valley who had already qualified, the mission was to keep Pokhara out and go for a less competitive opponent in Southern Stars. But for Pokhara it is to register for themselves a place in the four teams playing in the semi final today.
Doon’s tall defenders had posed a tough wall for the Pokhara strikers whose every move was broken by the defenders of Doon Valley. A free kick from about twenty yards was chipped above the wall and out of no where came Sonam Rinchen’s header to push the ball right above goalkeeper’s head for a goal. Celebrations on and off the field was huge as Pokhara began to mount pressure on Doon Valley.
Doon’s striker known to many as Abdullah could not just create the link with midfielder. Pokhara’s defence line was as mighty than ever and managed to keep the ball at bay.
Thunderous shower minutes later scattered the spectators who squeezed into every possible shelter but did not miss the match. Despite the heavy downpour the match went on. It was football of a different kind now. The players had to adopt different techniques on a field that has now turned into a rice field minus rice.
Pokhara took advantage of the muddy and slippery field to get the second goal. They had almost secured a position for themselves in the semis but their confidence was shaken when Doon Valley lessened the lead by scoring a goal. Earlier, a free kick which was curled to hit the bar and then the net was ruled out by the referee who wanted the kick to be taken indirectly.
The match ended 2-1 in Pokhara’s favour and it was all cheers for Pokhara midfielder Sonam Rinchen who saved last year’s champions from the embarrassment of being ruled out in the league itself.
In the first match, which would decide Dharamsala’s fate, Dhanglob Rukhag lathered Bir/Chauntra who finished last in their pool with no points by 5-1 to keep Dharamsala out of the tournament.
The first semi final will be between Doon Valley and Kathmandu and the second between Dhanglob Rukhag and Pokhara. The Final will be played tomorrow.