NPC pip MMC to enter final

POKHARA: Defending champions Nepal Police Club defeated Manang Marshyangdi Club 1-0 to advance to the final of the eighth Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium today.

In an neck-to-neck encounter, Pankaj Shahi

scored the solitary goal in the 49th minute to guide the departmental team of Nepal Police close to their second consecutive title.

Pankaj made an excellent run taking the ball from the centre and struck home without leaving any time for the MMC goalie Bishal Shrestha to react. NPC will now play the winners of Thursday’s semi-final match between New Road Team and Tribhuvan Army Club.

However, it was Manang who enjoyed a better possession in the match but a very tight defence from the policemen prevented them from finding the back of the net. NPC custodian Ritesh Thapa was the player of the match denying almost a dozen of attacks from MMC.

NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha refused to give any reaction after the match. MMC offive secretary Kumar Bhattarai said his team played a better match but referee’s unfair decision knocked them out. Bhattarai also alleged FIFA Referee Surendra Sikhrakar of not giving a clear cut penalty

and ruling offsides unnecessarily. MMC scored a goal in the 43rd minute only to be ruled offside.

Budha Subba

DHARAN: Prem Limbu scored a hat-trick as Knight Chess Club of Jhapa defeated Sunocho Football Club of Sikkim 4-1 in the 12th Budha Subba Gold Cup Football Tournament here on Wednesday. Taiman Rai struck for Sunocho early in the 12th minute to give lead to the visiting team. Azad Pradhan brought the equailiser for Knight Chess scoring in the 30th minute that made the score 1-1 going into the second half.

Man of the match Prem then appeared into the frame bringing tournament’s second hat-trick scoring in the 65th, 69th and 83rd minutes. Laxmi Shrestha of hosts Dharan Football Club had scored the first hat-trick in the inaugural match against Morang-XI on Tuesday. Hosts Dharan FC will take on Armed Police Force Club on Thursday.