February 20, 2017 09:20 PM NPT
By: Rohit Rai
Republica Players of CMG Club Sankata (L) and Armed Police Force in action during their match of the 19th Budhasubba Gold Cup football tournament at ANFA Technical Center in Dharan, Sunsari on Monday.
KATHMANDU, Feb 20: CMG Club Sankata has advanced to the semifinals of the ongoing Nineteenth Budhasubba Gold Cup defeating Armed Police Force (APF) 1-0 on Monday.
First half goal from Raj Poudel was enough for Sankata to book its place in the last four.
Now Sankata will take on Rupandehi XI on Wednesday in the semifinal. Meanwhile, win against APF was second victory of the year having beaten the departmental side in the Simara Gold Cup 2-0 last month. However, APF had beaten Sankata 1-0 in Jhapa Gold Cup.
In the quarterfinal match played at ANFA Technical Center, Raj Poudel scored off a header in the 39th minute utilizing a cross from Sajin Thapa from the flank.
In the competitive match between the two A Division sides, Sankata missed many goal-scoring opportunities in order to add goals in the match. In the 17th minute, Sankata had a brilliant opportunity to score the opener when Sushil KC had a chance to shoot from close range but AFP defense line cleared the ball. Sushil missed another chance to score as he failed to collect a pass from Martins Ajayi in the penalty box. APF was denied scoring equalizer in the 67th minute when Lawal Ballekan's effort was denied by APF's goalkeeper Raju Nagarkoti. In the 70th minute Shyam Nepali's powerful shot was punched by Sankata's goalkeeper Binay Shrestha and Top Bista failed to score in a one-versus-one situation.
In the 86th minute, Amrit Adhikari's close-range shot was saved by Sankata's goalie Binay Shrestha. Two minutes later, Top Bista missed another one-versus-one opportunity as his shot was denied by Binay. APF's Ramesh Dangal was declared man-of-the-match and was rewarded with Rs 5000.
After guiding his team to the victory, Sankata's head coach Salyan Khadgi said, “The match was very competitive as both sides created many goal scoring chances. We succeed to score one goal which was sufficient for us to register the win.”
Meanwhile, APF's head coach Kumar Thapa said that his players failing to utilize the scoring chances saw his team face defeat. He also said that Sankata fielding more than three foreign players against the established norms of playing only three foreign players in one match affected the outcome. “As per the established rules, a club can field only three forgein players in one match but Sankata fielded more than three and that affected the result,” said APF's head coach Thapa.
In the last quarterfinal match of the tournament on Tuesday, Nepal Police Club will face Indian opponent Kanchenjunga Football Club of Darjeeling.