APF advance to last four

Pokhara, January 6:

Ganesh Lawati scored a brace as Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club beat Digganto Poshari Club of Bangladesh 2-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the sixth Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament at the Pokhara Stadium today.

The win means the departmental team have made it to the semi-finals for the third time in their only fourth appearance in the Sahara Club-organised event. APF will next meet the winners of the other quarter-final match between friends Club and Sahara Club (UK) on January 10.

The leading goal-scorer so far with three goals ahead of Ananta Thapa (2) of Nepal Police Club and Bishnu KC (2) of Sahara Club, Lawato put the department team ahead in the 24th minute with a 22-yard shot that sailed into the top right corner of the nets leaving Digganto Poshari goalkeeper Titu no time to react. Lawato added his second when his shot from the edge of the box deflected off the cross bar inside the post.

APF, who upset tournament favourite New Road Team (NRT) for the quarter-final berth, adopted offensive game and left no room for the team that play district league in Bangladesh. The 10-man Poshari hardly threatened APF creating only one opportunity and that too skipper Ruku headed wide of the target in the 68th minute. Poshari were reduced to 10 men two minutes from time after Enamul was sent off for his double yellow card.

APF coach Dambar Singh Gurung conceded that his boys played up to the potential. “My game plan was to disrupt the opponent’s rhythm by our aggressive game,” Gurung said.

Encouraged by the unexpected win over star-studded NRT, coach Gurung also said that he would change the face of Nepali football if given the chance to manage the national team.

Nepal Police Club will take on Nabil Three Star Club on Monday.