Three departmental teams, Central Region into semis

Published On: December 27, 2016 10:05 PM NPT By: Rohit Rai

DHARAN, Dec 28: The semifinal line-up of the men's football at the Seventh National Games has been completed after Tribhuvan Army Club, Armed Police Force (APF) became the last two teams to book their places in the last four on Tuesday. Nepal Police Club and Central Region have already advanced to the semifinals from Group A. 

In the Group B match held at ANFA Technical Center, Dharan, Army and APF played a goalless draw which saw the departmental sides making seven and five points to become group winner and runner-up respectively. Army had defeated Far-Western Region and Mid-Western Region in the last two matches of the group. Similarly, APF had registered win against Mid-Western Region and played a goalless draw against Far-Western Region. 

Meanwhile in the second match of the day in the same group, Far-Western Region registered a 2-1 victory over Mid-Western Region in their rubber stamp match. However, despite the win, Far-Western Region crashed out from the group along with Mid-Western Region.  

Now, the first semifinal clash will be played between Group A winner Police and Group B runner-up APF while Group B winner Army will take on Group A runner-up Central Region. 

Earlier in the first match of the day, both Army and APF couldn't score after failing to convert the scoring chances. Army had the first scoring opportunity in the 14th minute when Amrit Basnet attempted a header freely when he was unmarked. However, he couldn't direct the ball into the net.

Amrit had a second chance to give lead to his team in the 33rd minute but his powerful shot from the edge of the box was saved by APF's goalkeeper Amrit Chaudhary.  In the stoppage time of the first half, APF's Nabin Lama got an opportunity to shoot the ball from close range but he was denied by Army's goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu. 

Army, which had kept its captain Bharat Khawas on the bench, created a handful of chances in the second half but it failed to produce goal due to poor conversion. Army's Bikash Tamang had a great chance to notch a goal in the 67th minute as he was allowed to attempt a free header by APF defenders. However, his header was saved by APF's goalkeeper. Furwa Tamang had another opportunity to net a goal for Army just three minutes before the regulation time but his close range shot was punched off by APF's goalie. 

Similarly in the last match of the day, Far-Western Region overcame Mid-Western Region with the help of a brace from Mani Ram Chaudhary. Bijay Singh Thakuri scored a consolation goal for Mid-Western Region. Mani Ram gave the lead for Far-Western in the 51st minute while Mid-Western Region came back in the game with Bijay's goal in the 69th minute. However, Mani Ram, scoring his personal second in the 79th minute, saw Far-Western registering its first win in the group. 

The semifinal matches will be held on Wednesday at ANFA Technical Center, Dharan. 

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