Machhindra hopes for maiden title against in-form MMC
POKHARA, Nov 10: Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) aims consecutive title while Machhindra Club targets its maiden title as they lock horns in the final of the Second Safal Pokhara Cup football tournament on Saturday at the Pokhara Stadium.
MMC had defeated Machhindra 2-1 during the group stage match of the Ncell Cup held in the capital last month and its coach Krishna Thapa claimed to repeat similar performance in Pokhara.
On the other hand, newly appointed Machhindra coach Raju Kaji Shakya revealed that his club wants to avenge MMC and win the first major title here.
However, both the coaches praised their opponent as strong side and claimed that the final would not be a cakewalk for any team.
MMC coach Thapa said that his side has arrived in Pokhara with a high morale after winning Ncell Cup and has been focusing on physical fitness. "We are here to win the tournament. We are pushing hard for physical fitness now," said Thapa, who is permanent resident of Pokhara. "We will put up a coordinated game and hope to lift the title," he added.
Thapa claimed that popularity of his side in Pokhara would pull a huge crowd to support MMC in the final. "Support from the crowd and extra effort from my boys would be our plus point in the final," said Thapa.
"Machhindra also has talented players and I hope the final would be a tough match for us. We need extra effort and good teamwork to beat them," he added.
Meanwhile, Machhindra coach Shakya claimed that his side has progressed a lot during the tournament and said he is hopeful of winning the first title for the club. "Players have been showing progress in every match. Boys are playing the final with high morale," said Shakya. "We have a good scoring line and it could bring us glory," he added.
Shakya claimed that his side would take advantage of MMC´s weaknesses. "We should capitalized on their weaknesses but we should not forget that MMC is a very good club in domestic football," said Shakya.
Shakya complained that unavailability of a good training ground in Pokhara.
´God factor´ for MMC
MMC coach Thapa said that his side has faith in god and has been visiting temples in Pokhara before every match. MMC team members worshipped at Talbarahi Temple before its first match in Safal Cup and prayed at Bindhyabasini Temple before the semifinal match.
"We pray for our victory since we believe in god. It is for psychological boost but it does not mean that we totally depend on god for our victory," said Thapa.
Thapa informed that his side would visit Akala Temple in Pokhara before the final match on Friday.