Defending champion Police crashes out of Khaptad Gold Cup
February 28, 2020 10:46 AM NPT
By: Sanjay Thapa
Players of Nepal Police Club (red) and Armed Police Force Club in action during their quarterfinal match of the Sudur Paschim International Invitational Khaptad Gold Cup football tournament at the Dhangadhi Stadium in Dhangadhi on Thursday.
DHANGADHI, Feb 28: Armed Police Force Club (APF) ousted defending champion Nepal Police Club in penalty shoot-out to advance to the semifinals of the Nepal Ice Sudur Paschim International Invitational Khaptad Gold Cup football tournament in Dhangadhi on Thursday.
At the Dhangadhi Stadium, the match was pushed to penalty shootout after following a goalless stalemate. APF scored four against Police Club’s three in the quarterfinal tie-breaker to advance to next round.
Both the teams substituted its respective goal-keepers for the spot-kicks.
Roman Rasaili replaced Raju Nagarkoti for APF whereas Roshan Khakda was introduced in place of Shatrughan Chaudhary for Police.
Rasaili turned out to be an inspired change as he denied Ajit Bhandari from scoring but Police Club captain Bharat Shah failed to hit target.
Saujan Rai, Tej Tamang and Buddha Bal scored for Police Club in the penalty shoot-out which was bested by APF’s Dinesh Rajbanshi, player-of-the-match Ashish Lama, Prabin Syangtyangar and Sudip Sikhakar in a 4-3 win.
APF head coach Sudip Shrestha rued not winning the match in normal time whereas he entrusted Rasaili to do the job in place of regular keeper.
He said that Police players looked tired but APF players failed to take advantage of the situation.
He further stated that Rasaili was the first choice but was rested for today’s match. “He will be back in goal as number one for the semifinal match,” he added.
Police coach Sanjib Joshi accredited tremendous tiredness among the players for the lackluster performance and defeat.
Police had defeated Chaysal Youth Club in the semifinal match of Rhino Gold Cup on Tuesday and lost the final match against Tribhuvan Army Club on Wednesday.
The team traveled overnight to reach Dhangadhi on the morning of the match to participate in the quarters.
Similarly, Joshi also stressed that it was error of margins that captain missed to hit the target.
Police had asked for half-an-hour delay for the match to rest but was denied by the organizers.
It had directly entered the quarterfinal round whereas APF had defeated New Road Team 2-1 in the pre-quarterfinal match.
APF will face Sudur Paschim XI in the first semifinal match on Saturday. The home side Sudur
Paschim had defeated Indian team Kanchanjunga Football Club in the quarterfinal to book its spot in the last four.
Gorkha Boys Club will take on Himalayan Sherpa in the fourth quarterfinal match on Friday.