Manang Marshyangdi Club’s Bishal Rai in action against Nepal Police Club’s Tej Tamang (right) during a quarterfinal football match of the International Invitational Khaptad Gold Cup at the Dhangadhi Stadium in Dhangadhi on Sunday. Photo: Dil Bahadur Chhatyal/ Republica
DHANGADHI, Jan 14: Departmental team Nepal Police Club has advanced into the semifinals of the ongoing International Invitational Khaptad Gold Cup defeating A-Division League winner Manang Marshyangdi Club 1-0 on Sunday.
In a highly-competitive quarterfinal match played at the Dhangadhi Stadium, the first half ended goalless.
Manang’s Heman Gurung hit a long shot from 25 yards out, but keeper Shatrudhan Chaudhary saved it brilliantly in the 11th minute. Police got a chance in the 29th minute, but Tirtha Rana’s effort from 25 yards out hit the crossbar.
Police played more attacking football in the second half and Nir Kumar Rai got a chance early on, but his effort was out of the target.
Manang’s Gurung gave a cross to Muhammad Asif, but his header was saved by keeper Chaudhary in the 62nd minute.
Police took the lead in the 68th minute through Nir Kumar Rai as a rebound ball from the corner taken by Tej Tamang was converted by Rai. Police got another chance in the 80th minute as Abdul Karim’s shot went just over the bar.
Police head coach Ananta Thapa said that the players worked very hard to go according to the tactics, which helped the team win. “Manang is a champion and is very strong. We have young players in our team and they played according to the tactics that helped in the win,” Thapa said.
Manang’s Nigerian head coach Fuja Tope said that the fitness problem was seen in the players as the players could not get rest. “We lost the game because of the lack of rest after the league.’’
Police’s Rai was named the man of the match and received Rs 10,000 in cash for his contribution.
Police will now take on the winner of Sankata Club and Cameroon’s Dauphin Club.