NPC go down to Dordoi

Bishkek, September 19:

Nepal Police Club (NPC) lost 1-3 to Dordoi-Dynamo of Kyrgyzstan in the semi-finals of the fourth AFC Challenge Cup Football Tournament today.

David Bruce struck twice and Mirlan Mugraev netted one for the hosts, while Ananta Thapa scored the consolation goal for the NPC.

Bruce opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he snatched the ball from Parbat Pandey and converted without making any mistake. Mugraev doubled the tally in the 60th capitalising on defensive error. Thapa reduced the margin to 2-1 with a header on a cross fron Bhola Silwal in the 71st minute but Bruce restored the lead scoring his second goal in the 84th.

NPC should have taken an early lead but star striker Jumanu Rai failed to score in an open net. The Nepali national league champions created a chance in the 15th minute which Rai wasted with a sky-rocketing shot from the 18-yard box when Dordoi goalkeeper had lost his balance.

In the 44th minute, skipper Ramesh Budhathoki’s header on a pass from Bhola Silwal went inches above the bar. The NPC could not bring out the favourable result despite breath-taking performance from Chetan Ghimire and goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa.

“We could not play our natural game today and we lost the match not because they (Dordoi Dynamo) were superb. They capitalised on our mistakes and converted the chances,” said NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha.

The NPC’s loss to Dordoi is third in as many encounters. The NPC lost 1-2 in the final and 0-3

in the group stage last year in Pakistan.