NPC unimpressive despite resounding win

KATHMANDU, DEC 25 - A star-studded Nepal Police Club (NPC) made light work of Eastern XI, drubbing them 4-0 on the second day of the British Gurkha Cup at the Dashrath Stadium on Thursday. But the win was from satisfying for the national champions who could easily have pulled off a much more resounding score line against a squad that had virtually no shot on target.

NPC went in front on 27th minute through Suman Subedi's header following a cross from Parbat Pandey. Chetan Ghimire doubled the advantage on the hour's mark after squandering a host of opportunities earlier in the game. Jumanu Rai and Bhola Silwal were also on the mark for NPC after Ghimire's strike. The win takes them level on points with NIBL Friends in Group 'A'. Both the team have three points each.

Coach Birat Shrestha was not pleased with the result. He said his team were lucky to be drawn with a lowly opponent in the first match. “The result could have gone either way had we faced NIBL Friends in the opening fixture,” he said. “We had not prepared well for the event as most of our players are in closed camp for the South Asian Games. But we will definitely do better as the tournament progresses.”

NPC were dominant throughout the 90 minutes threatening the Eastern XI goal every other minute but could not capitalise on the number of chances they created. Chetan Ghimire alone missed four clear opportunities before making amends on 59th minute. Jumanu Rai and skipper Ananta Thapa also came close to scoring several times in the game but the day actually belonged to Ghimire, who could have easily bagged a hat-trick with a bit of luck.

Ghimire had his first crack at the goal on 13th minute from Ananta's pass but guided his shot wide without even troubling Eastern keeper Padam Limbu. Jumanu was in action shortly before Ghimre's miss when he flicked Robin Shrestha's pass inches off the target. Ten minutes later, Ghimire shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Suman Subedi lit up the rather frustrating half for Police when he planted his header into the top corner following a free-kick from Parbat Pandey awarded for a foul on Jumanu Rai. Ghimre was again in the thick of things 36 minutes into the game. This time, Jumanu had put him clean through after lobbing his shot past the Eastern defenders but Ghimire killed the momentum trying to go past the keeper, ultimately resulting in a save.

Ghimire made amends for his missed opportunities scoring a sitter supplied by Jumanu Rai on 59th minute. Jumanu fed him a pass beating the keeper, and Ghimire obliged scoring from just outside the goal line.

Jumanu made it 3-0 on 74th minute placing his shot in the right corner from Dipendra Paudel's pass before Bhola Silwal scored from a rebound one minute from time that came off the upright from substitute Pankaj Shahi's shot.

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