Dhimal Shoots New Road Team out

POKHARA, Jan 28 - Dainos Dhimal struck in the dying minutes of the game to give Nepal Army Club a narrow 1-0 win over New Road Team (NRT) and confirm their spot in the quarterfinals of the Seventh Aaha Gold Cup at the Pokhara Stadium on Wednesday.

Dhimal headed the ball home after NRT failed to clear the corner fed by Mahendra Khawas in 88th minute, dashing NRT hopes of reaching the next round of the championship for the second consecutive time. NRT had suffered the same fate in the previous edition when Armed Police Force had knocked them out in the group stages.

In a highly charged encounter that produced plenty of action up front, both teams failed to convert six clear opportunities each. NRT had an immediate chance to make a mark in the game when Laxman Rucha's effort in 14th minute from inside the D-box was punched to safety by Army custodian Bikash Malla, who was later adjudged the man of the match for his showing.

NRT, whose lineup consisted mostly of national players went close to scoring in the 35th minute through Anil Gurung when his effort sailed kissing the top bar. NRT had a penalty appeal tuned down in the 72nd minute after Nirajan Raimajhi was brought down by Chun Bahadur Thapa.

A the other end, Nepal Army found the back of the net in 78th minute through Santosh Nepal only to be ruled out by the referee as foul.

The Nepal Army team, known for their endurance, appeared fit right till the end to frustrate their opponents. Moreover, their stamina proved too much for NRT that went to tatters in the latter stages of the game. Nabil Three Star Club will face ANFA Academy-19 on Thursday's game.

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