NPC outplay Kakarvitta, enter semi-finals
Dharan, February 23
Nepal Police Club advanced to the semi-finals of the 22nd Budhasubba Tuborg Gold Cup with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Mechi Netralaya Kakarvitta Football Training Centre here at the Dharan Stadium today.
Skipper Jumanu Rai netted a brace and Suman Subedi added one for the five-time champions NPC. While Sanjay Dhimal scored the consolation goal for the Jhapa-based Kakarvitta. Rai won the manof-the-match award along with Rs 15,000, while Subedi’s goal was adjudged the best goal of the match and he got Rs 5,000.
Kakarvitta took the lead in the 10th minute when Dhimal found the back of the nets, while Subedi levelled the scores in the 41st minute after he slammed home from the crowded d-box following a free kick from Padam Bhattarai. Rai put NPC ahead two minutes later when he converted a 25- yard free kick into the sensational goal. Rai then sealed the victory with his second goal of the match in the 80th minute.
Earlier, Osendra Katuwal rounded up NPC goalkeeper Sanjit Shrestha and shot at the goal only for NPC defender to clear the ball from goalline, while NPC forward Bhola Silwal had his header cleared by Kakarvitta defender in the 30th minute. Karna Limbu wasted a chance for Kakarvitta in the 68th minute before Khamir Kandangwa struck against the cross bar with a header following a corner from Karna Limbu in the 75th minute.
NPC coach Ananta Thapa was satisfied with the overall performance of his team. “We conceded the goal but the boys were able to score the equaliser on time to bring the team back into the match,” said the former national team midfielder.
“We will put up an improved show in the next match,” he added. Kakarvitta coach Min Bahadur Basnet said the team conceded all three goals because of goalkeeping mistakes.
“We could not perform as per the expectations and the players also wasted lots of opportunities,” he added.
On Monday, NOC Manang Marshyangdi Club will take on Chief Minister Province-1 League runners-up Belbari Football Club.