Pokhara, February 3
Santosh Shrestha scored in the first minute as Nepal APF Club defeated Ruslan Three Star Club 1-0 in the quarter-final match of the sixth Manakamana Cable Car Pokhara Cup Football Tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium today.
Shrestha found the back of the nets 35 seconds into the match and that was enough for the departmental side to advance to the last four, while Three Star were sent packing from the first match.
In a surprise move, Three Star lost possession near the APF d-box and Rajiv Lopchan — who received the ball from his defense — dodged a Three Star defender before setting to Shrestha inside the penalty box. Three Star goalkeeper Allen Neupane managed to the touch the ball but he was not able to keep it out.
APF, who wasted a chance to double the tally in the 26th minute after Lopchan’s left-footed shot went inches off target, did not allow Three Star play freely and hung on the lead to win the match. APF defender Ramesh Dangal was named the man of the match.
Three Star coach Meghraj KC said the team came under pressure after the early goal and the APF were successful in their strategy of stopping us from scoring. “We conceded a surprise goal in the first minute and that put us under pressure. After that, APF were all defense and we failed to penetrate,” said KC. APF coach Rajendra Tamang lauded his players’ performance. “The goal came as a surprise but the team played as per the plan and we could stop them,” said Tamang.
On Monday, Tribhuvan Army Club — who have already won two knock out tournaments — will take on Cameroonian side Dauphins Family Club in the second quarter-final match.
A version of this article appears in print on February 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.