Bharat Khawas of Tribhuvan Army Club (right) in action against Dharan Football Club during a quarterfinal match of the 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup football tournament at the Pokhara Stadium in Pokhara on Sunday. Photo: Umesh Pun/Republica
POKHARA, Jan 29: Dharan Football Club has advanced to the semifinals of the ongoing 16thAaha Rara Gold Cup football tournament defeating the departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) 5-4 in tiebreaker on Sunday. TAC, who won three titles already this season, had to go out of the tournament.
At the Pokhara Stadium, Bharat Khawas of TAC opened the score in the 18th minute converting a pass from Erik Bista. Nishan Limbu equalized for Dharan in the 63rd minute as he dribbled past the defenders to make the score 1-1.
The match was pushed to the extra time as both the teams could not score in the regulation time, and extra 10 minutes were added in both the halves. Team captain Bishnu Sunar, Suraj BK, Roman Limbu, Buddhi Ram Rai, and Nishan Limbu scored for Dharan, while TAC’s Nawayug Shrestha, Deep Lama, Deepak Gurung and Bibek Basnet scored. George Prince Karki had missed the penalty of the departmental team. Nishan Limbu was rewarded with the man-of-the-match award.
TAC faced a defeat having failed to miss several chances throughout the match. Tanka Basnet could not score in the 21st minute for the departmental team failing to utilize the pass from Khawas. Likewise, Nawayug Shrestha’s 52nd minute strike just went over the bar. TAC head coach NabinNeupane said that his team had to lose as they failed to catch the rhythm of the match like they did in their earlier matches.
“The boys took the game very easy after scoring first in the match and Dharan utilized that advantage and equalized,” Neupane said. “One of the most important things is to maintain the level. Despite playing our usual game, the players could not do well.”
Dharan also missed many chances in the match. Saujan Rai’s shot in the 14th minute was saved by the keeper and the follow-up was not converted by Dipesh Magar. Buddhi Man Rai’s shot sailed just over the crossbar in the injury time of the first half. Roman Limbu’s 80th minute header was pushed over the post by the TAC defender. Dharan’s head coach Ashok Rai said that the first-half performance was very poor, and his players failed to convert the chances into goals despite getting many throughout the match.
“We will perform very well the next time we play,” Rai said, “We missed many good chances in the first half, but we managed to control the tempo of the match after playing three at the midfield.”
Monday’s match: Armed Police Force vs Ruslan Three Star Club