NPC defeat Dharan to enter Aaha Rara Gold Cup final

POKHARA: Nepal Police Club has defeated Dharan Football Club 1-0 in the semifinal of the 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament on Thursday to set title clash against Ruslan Three Star.

Suman Lama's early penalty goal in the 23rd minute became decisive to send the departmental team into the final.

Now two A Division outfits -- NPC, Three Star -- will face each other in the summit clash at Pokhara Stadium on Saturday.

NPC earned a penalty opportunity after Dharan's Roman Limbu fouled on Ravi Paswan in the danger zone. Lama made no mistake from spot which was enough for five time tournament champions NPC to secure their berth in the final.

After conceding an early goal, Dharan tried to remain in the contention dominating the match and creating the scoring opportunities but poor conversion didn't help them.

NPC goalkeeper Shatrughan Chaudhary who saved several dangerous shots from Dharan was named man of the match.

After guiding his team to the final, NPC coach Ananta Raj Thapa said that his players sticking to the game plan was the reason behind the win. "We had just 15 days for the preparation but still boys have done well so far in this tournament. Match against Three Star will be tough but we are prepared to face them," said coach Thapa.

Likewise, Dharan coach Ashok Rai expressed his dissatisfaction over referee's decision to provide penalty opportunity to NPC.

"Referee was wrong to give a penalty decision. Despite the loss, i am still proud of my players' performances," said coach Rai.