Players of Armed Police Force (blue) and Kakarbhitta Football Training Center vie for the ball during their match of the Mechi Netralaya Gold C up football tournament in Kakarbhitta on Thursday. Photo: Republica
JHAPA, Jan 5: Armed Police Force (APF) has advanced to the final of the ongoing Mechi Netralaya Gold Cup registering 5-4 victory on penalties over host Kakarbhitta Football Training Center on Thursday. The second semifinal match of the tournament played in Kakarbhitta was pushed to the penalties after it was ended 1-1 in the normal time.
APF which had clinched Surunga Gold Cup three weeks back will now vie local team Jhapa XI in final on Saturday to win second trophy in Jhapa in the space of one month.
Nishant Limbu turned into villain from hero to home team as he gave lead to Kakarbhitta in the regular time but failed to convert in shootout which resulted in the team's exit from tournament. APF had come back into the game in with Ramesh Dangal's goal in the 44th minute, two minutes later from conceding.
Sudip Sikhakar, Nabin Lama, Milan Rai, Raju Yogi and Prabin Syangten converted penalties for APF while Jiwan Gurung, Sanjay Rajbahak, Aditya Karki and Samsung scored for Kakarbhitta and Nishant was denied by APF goalie Raju Yogi.
Speaking after the win APF's head coach Ratna Kaji Maharjan said, “We had won Surunga Gold Cup in Jhapa three weeks back and we want to continue the winning form by winning another trophy here. My players are confident,”
Earlier Nishant had given lead to Kakarbhitta scoring beautiful goal from 25-yard by collecting the ball released by APF's goalkeeper Raju Yogi. Two minutes later, departmental side's Ramesh Dangal scored header goal utilizing the cross from Nabin Lama.
Kakarbhitta's head coach Sachindra Dhimal expressed his satisfaction towards the performance of his players. “We have young players with very little experience but still we controlled the game before losing on penalties. Our team wasn't set full but still we came to this far, so I am satisfied,” said head coach Dhimal.