NPC, Far-west through to quarter-finals

Lalitpur, June 20

Nepal Police Club (NPC) and Far-western Football Club advanced to the quarter-finals of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament here at ANFA Complex grounds on Monday.

NPC edged past Buddha Air Morang Football Club 1-0 in Group D, while Far-western beat CMG Sankata Club 2-1 in Group C to finish as the winners of their respective pools. Despite losing the matches, Morang and Sankata also qualified for the quarter-finals as runners-up.

In the first match, Bijay Shrestha’s solitary goal in the 72nd minute was enough for the NPC to book berth in the quarter-finals. NPC will now take on Tribhuvan Army Club for a place in the last four. NPC coach Ananta Thapa said the boys took the match lightly as they had no pressure. “Our next match with TAC will be a tough one and both the teams will be under pressure. We will put in all our strength in the match,” Thapa added.

Morang coach Uttar Kumar Khawas said they had planned to snatch a point from the match. “We came into the match with plans of snatching a point and also wanted to avoid meeting TAC in the quarter-finals. I am happy with the performance of the boys,” said Khawas, whose team will play against Jagadamba Lumbini FC.

In another match, Far-western beat CMG Club Sankata 2-1. Skipper Kamal Deuba provided the lead to the Far-western in the 55th minute, while Suman Dangol scored the equaliser in the 80th minute. As the match was heading towards a draw, Far-western earned a penalty and Deependra Budha scored from the spot to register the second victory in the tournament. Far-western will take on Rumpum Jhapa-XI Football Club, while Sankata will lock horns with Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club.

Far-western coach Yagya Shrestha said the both teams wanted to take full three points from the match to avoid MMC in the quarter-finals. “I am happy with the win. Sankata were defensive to some extent which allowed us to attack their post,” added Shrestha. Sankata coach Devendra Jung Shahi blamed his misfiring strikers for the defeat. “We did create ample opportunities to score but the forward line failed to convert them,” said Shahi.