Kakarbhitta into semifinals

Published On: January 1, 2017 09:15 PM NPT By: Raju Adhikari

JHAPA, Jan 2: A dominant performance by goalkeeper Allan Neupane guided Kakarbhitta Football Training Center to the semifinals of the ongoing Mechi Netralaya Kakarbhitta Gold Cup beating Blue Army of Shillong 3-2 on penalties on Sunday. 

The quarterfinal clash between the host and Indian opponent held in Kakarbhitta was pushed to the tiebreaker after both sides failed to produce goals in the normal time. Man-of-the-match Allan who made many saves in the normal time denied one penalty shot. He saved Blue Army's striker Ajit Singh's shot during the penalty shootout. 

Jivan Gurung, Sanjay Rajbahak and Sesung converted penalties for the winning side Kakarbhitta while Nabin Subedi's shot was saved by Blue Army's goalkeeper Bishwojit Negi. Similarly, only two players-Lalram Doya Moya, Lalmawon Puya-scored penalties for the visiting side while Suraj Raut's shot hit the woodwork and Dipak Negi hit wide. 

Blue Army's head coach Pritam Chettri was disappointed with the defeat despite his team fully dominating the game. He claimed that the pitch surface was uneven pointing out that as the reason behind the defeat. “Due to the uneven pitch surface we couldn't play the game with speed which prevented us to score in the normal time,” said Chettri. He also said that his players failing to convert the penalties was another reason behind the defeat. 

Earlier Blue Army has created many goal scoring chances in the match but the heroic saves from goalkeeper Allan saw Kakrbhitta holding the match until the 90 minutes. 

The Indian team had the chance to lead the game in the 19th minute when Ajit Singh provided a beautiful cross to Chhiring Bhutiya but the Blue Army forward's shot went wide from close range. Four minutes later Blue Army had another opportunity to score but Bijay Thapa's close range effort was denied by Kakarbhitta's Allan. The home side survived once again in the 39th minute after Blue Army's Ajit Singh's shot was cleared on the goal line by Kakarbhitta's defender Nabin Subedi. 

Kakarbhitta which played defensive game throughout the 90 minutes couldn't create a single goal scoring opportunity. Kakarbhitta's head coach Sachindra Dhimal accepted that his team was forced to play the defensive game. “We played defensive and couldn't create scoring chances but the dominant performance from goalkeeper Allan helped us book a place in the last four,” said Dhimal. He also said that his players didn't get time to train together which affected their performance. “We will try to sort out the mistakes in the next game as coordination among the players will get better with training together,” 
In the next quarterfinal on Monday, Rupandehi XI will take on Fans Club of Bhutan. 

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