Players of Nepal Police Club (red) and Dharan Football Club in action during a semifinal match of the 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup football tournament at the Pokhara Stadium in Pokhara on Thursday.
POKHARA, Feb 2: Departmental team Nepal Police Club (NPC) has set the summit clash of the ongoing 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup football tournament with Ruslan Three Star Club (TSC) after defeating Dharan Football Club 1-0 in the second last-four clash on Thursday.
The only goal from Suman Lama was enough to help the departmental team reach the final. NPC was rewarded a penalty after Dharan’s Roman Limbu fouled Rabi Paswan in the penalty box. Lama converted the spot kick to give NPC the lead in the 23rd minute.
NPC will take on TSC on Saturday.
NPC failed to utilize some of its chances in front of the goal. Abhishek Rijal’s 11th minute free kick was punched brilliantly by Dharan’s goalkeeper. Tej Tamang could not direct the ball goalwards in the 78th minute with a cross provided by Sunil Lama. Tamang’s shot was again punched out by the Dharan goalkeeper in the 85th minute.
NPC has won the tournament for five times and has made eight final experiences. This was the third meeting between NPC and Dharan. They played against each other in the sixth and the 12th editions of the tournament, but for the first time in a last-four match.
NPC’s goalkeeper Satrudhan Chaudhary was declared the man-of-the-match.
Dharan lost to NPC despite playing very well, but missed series of chances in the match. Captain Bishnu Sunar’s shot in the half hour mark resulting from a Bartaman Rai corner went off the target. Nishan Limbu fired a shot after five minutes, but that went wide of the post. Likewise, Bartaman Rai failed to guide a Manoj Rai’s throw in pass in the 41st minute. Roman Limbu missed a close ranger header in the injury time of the first half with a corner from Bartaman Rai.
“We could not score, despite creating several chances in the match,” Dharan’s manager Ashok Rai said, “I felt that the decisions of the referee was not in our favor. Our game is good since we have most of the youth players in the team.”
NPC head coach Ananta Raj Thapa was excited about the win.
“A win is a win, no matter how many goals you score,’’ Thapa added.
Thapa said that they had been preparing for the tournament from 15-20 days, and that he took Dharan as a strong team. He added that he was now focused on defeating TSC in the final and making NPC a stronger team.