Gangtok, 24 Apr:

A hattrick by Ganesh Limboo helped Apex Football Club of Kalimpong reach the semi-final round of the ongoing 2nd Mahendra Karki Memorial Invitational Football Tournament 2018 here at Paljor Stadium. In a contesting quarter-final match played today, Apex FC outplayed United Kurseong Football Club 03-01.

Interestingly, this is the second consecutive hattrick for Ganesh in this tournament. He scored his first hattrick to register a 3-2 victory against Siniolchu Football Club, Namchi.

The match, however, began in favour of the Kurseong team when Prayash Pradhan snatched the lead for United Kurseong in the 15th minute.

This lead was short-lived, as within two minutes, Ganesh Limboo slammed home the equaliser for Apex FC in the 17th minute.

Both the teams got some good opportunities to take the lead but missed the net and the first half ended with the score level at 1-1.

The second half was full of attacks and counter-attacks but both the team foiled many chances until Ganesh completed his hattrick in the 80th and 85th minute to secure a commanding 3-1 victory for his team.

Sikkim Police has already reached the semifinals of the tournament by defeating the defending champions, Sikkim Aakraman Football Club, in the first quarter-final match. Now, Apex FC will take on Sikkim Police on 27 Apr.

On 25 Apr, the third quarter-final match will be played between the State Sports Academy and United Brothers, Kalimpong.

Due to regular thunderstorms in the evening hours, the organisers have announced that the final match of the tournament will be played in the afternoon and not under floodlights as previously scheduled. The final match is scheduled for 30 Apr.