NPC pip Jhapa, enter quarters
Pokhara, January 26
Nepal Police Club defeated Rumpum Jhapa-XI 1-0 and advanced to the quarter-finals of the 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium today.
Suman Lama’s first half solitary goal was enough for the departmental side to knock Jhapa out from the first round of the competition. Lama scored the match-winning goal in the 13th minute beating Jhapa’s two defenders. NPC will now face Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club in the quarter-final match on January 30.
Earlier, Lama shot directly into the hands of Jhapa custodian Kishor Giri before the goalie denied Rabi Paswan in the 29th minute. Jhapa dominated the ball possession after the interval and also pushed hard for the equaliser but failed to create goal scoring chances.
At the other end, NPC wasted a couple of chances after the break. Abinash Rijal’s shot in the 55th minute was easily collected by Jhapa goalie Giri.
NPC’s coach Ananta Raj Thapa said his side failed to perform to the potential despite winning the match. “We failed to capitalise on scoring chances and should have won the match with bigger margin,” said Thapa, whose team won the NSC National Championship in Dang earlier this month. “The team includes young players and we are working on to groom them.”
Jhapa coach Prabesh Katuwal said his young and inexperienced players failed to fire. “We also faced problems as the ground is not properly maintained,” Katuwal said.
On Saturday, Far-west will take on Uttar Baridhara FC of Bangladesh in the first quarter-final match.