Harihar strikes twice in RCT’s 3-1 win

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 12:

Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) defeated newly-promoted Boudha Football Club 3-1 in the day’s first-round match of the Birthday Cup football tournament, which has been organised by All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), here at Dasharath Stadium today. Harihar Thapa scored two goals and Rishi Rai netted one for RCT, while Pradeep Kunwar scored a consolation goal for Bouddha FC, who entered the ‘A’ division after the Arjun Lama’s men finished runner-up in last year’s ‘B’ Division league. After an evenly-poised goalless first-half, Harihar opened the scoring for RCT in the 60th minute. The striker, who was out-of-sorts during last year’s league, found the net with a spectacular goal beating Bouddha goalkeeper Dasharath Adhikari following Rishi Rai’s pass just out side the penalty area. Rishi Rai doubled the tally six minutes later when his close-range powerful right-foot volley, on Sajan Shrestha’s pass, kissed the net. Harihar Thapa scored his second goal making it 3-0 for RCT in the 78th minute on a rebound.

Sudip Limbu’s attempt from the tight angle rebounded into play as Bouddha FC goalkeeper Dasharath Adhikari failed to collect the ball, and Harihar Thapa fired home from close range.

Pradeep Kunwar pulled one back in the 82nd minute taking advantage of a defensive error. RCT defender Pradeep Acharya tried to pass the ball to his goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri just inside the penalty box line, but Kunwar snatched the ball and scored in an open net with a curling shot. FIFA referee Dilip Rajak cautioned Binod Shahi and Subash Rana of RCT and

Kamal Basnet of Bouddha FC with yellow cards for their unsporting behaviour during the match. Earlier, RCT skipper Madhu Karki almost scored a suicide goal in the eighth minute while trying to clear Umesh Lama’s attempt, but RCT goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri was quick enough to punch the ball out. In the 36th minute, Boudha FC should have taken the lead but Pradeep Kunwar failed to convert in an open net. Bouddha FC custodian Dasharath Adhikari made a couple of brilliant saves, while RCT goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri was spectacular on one occasion when he denied a certain goal to Umesh Lama. On Monday, Mahabir Club will take on Kurseong FC.