Players of Central Region (red) and Tribhuvan Army Club vie for the ball during their women's football match of the Seventh National Games in Duhabi, Sunsari on Wednesday.
SUNSARI, Dec 22: The semifinal lineup of the women's football event during the Seventh National Games has been completed after Central Region became the fourth team to progress into the last four on Wednesday. Earning a draw against Tribhuvan Army in the last group stage match saw Central Region join three departmental teams in the semifinal as Group B runner-up.
In the match held at Duhabi, Sunsari, both Army and Central Region created many goal scoring chances but failed to convert them as the match ended 0-0.
Earlier, Army had good opportunity to take the lead as Bhujana Rai's free-kick shot from the edge of the box smashed the woodwork. Three minutes later, Central Region got chance to go ahead in the game with Sumitra Pakhrin taking a close-range shot. However, she was denied by Army's goalkeeper. In the stoppage time of the match, Kranti Ale of Army had a chance to score after Manita Kusuwar provided a beautiful pass in the penalty box, but her shot was too feeble and couldn't past the opponent's goalkeeper. Meanwhile, other two teams of the group Western Region and Far-Western Region crashed out from the group stage without earning any point.
In the Group A match held on the same day, two departmental teams Nepal Police Club and Armed Police Club (APF) who have already booked their places in the last four, played a 1-1 draw. First half goals from Dhim Kumari Gurung and Tej Kumari Gurung for Police and APF respectively resulted both teams ending the group stage with similar seven points.
Earlier, both teams had opted defensive strategy. However, Police went ahead in the game in the 18th minute with Dhim Kumari Gurung's goal. But Tej Kumari Gurung scoring in the 38th minute saw APF leveling the score before the end of the first half. With both sides failing to add other goals in the second half, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. APF's Rupa Rana Magar was declared player-of-the-match. In the meantime, home team Eastern Region wrapped up the women's football event with just one point while another team of the group Mid-Western failed to open the account.
The men's football event at the Seventh National Games will kick off on Thursday. The competition that will feature eight teams including five from development regions, and three departmental teams will be held at ANFA Technical Center, Dharan.
The participating eight teams are divided into two groups where Group A comprises Nepal Police Club, Eastern Region, Western Region and Central Region. Similarly, Group B consists of Armed Police Force (APF), defending champion Far-Western Region, Mid-Western Region and Tribhuvan Army Club. The tournament that will be played in league-cum-knockout basis will see top teams from each group advance to the last four.
On the first day of the event, Police and Eastern Region will vie in Group A match while Western Region and Mid-Western Region will battle in Group B match.