Players of Rupandehi XI and Tribhuvan Army Club (R) in action during their match of the Rum Pum Jhapa Gold Cup football tournamnet in Birtamode, Jhapa on Tuesday.
BIRTAMODE, Jan 31: Defending champion Tribhuvan Army Club on Tuesday advanced into the semifinals of the Jhapa Gold Cup football tournament defeating Rupandehi XI 2-0 at the Domalal stadium in Birtamod, Jhapa.
Nepali international strikers Nawayug Shrestha and Bharat Khawas, also the skipper of the departmental team, were on target. With the win, Army also avenged the defeat suffered at the hands of same opponent three months ago at Surung of same district.
Coincidentally, Bharat had captained the departmental team during its title haul last year while Nawayug had netted the decisive goal.
Army which has arrived Jhapa with the aim of defending the title kept the match under control for most of the time. However, it was forced to wait until second half to break the deadlock. Nawayug made a brilliant score in a pass by Bimal Pandey.
Bharat doubled the advantage in the 73rd minute in Tek Bahadur Budathoki's pass to ensure the victory.
Nawayug was declared the-man-of-the-match and rewarded Rs 7,000 sponsored by Maps Housing along with a medal.
Army coach Nabin Neupane said that the team's offensive style of play paid to his side.
Experienced Army studded with few Nepali international resorted to offensive style of play since the onset and kept Rupandehi veteran goalie Dilip Chhetri busy throughout the match. Army winger Tek Bahadur Budhathoki wasted scoring chance in the 11th minute after he headed wide. Three minutes later, goalie Dilip denied Tek Bahadur.
Army was unfortunate in the 23rd minute after Bharat Khawas header crashed on the bar. Three minutes later, Tanka Basnet was denied by glovesman Chhetri after sprinting with the ball nearly the halfway.
Rupandehi, which started defensively, couldn't create much scoring chances. Its real chance came in the 35th minute when Shiva Subedi ended up heading off the target.
Rupandehi coach Dayaram Sapkota said that his side lost the match due to lack of coordination. "There was no proper coordination between the midfield and the finishing line up. Even the most anticipated Deepak Rai was not at his best today," Sapkota said.
Host Rum Pum Jhapa XI will take on Far-western Football Club on Wednesday.