Parbat guides Police to semifinal


KATHMANDU, Jan 30: Title holders Nepal Police Club defeated the hosts Sahara Club, Pokhara 2-1 on Saturday to secure a semifinal spot in the ongoing Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament held in Pokhara Stadium.

Parbat Pandey, who opened the scoring for the police team, scored the decisive goal through penalty in the second half. The only goal for the hosts came through Pushpa Chhetri.

All the goals came in the second half of the match. Parbat opened the scoring in the 52nd minute through a header in a free-kick of Rakesh Shrestha.

Sahara leveled the scoring in the 67th minute through Pushpa. Pushpa directed the ball toward the net after police custodian Ritesh Thapa failed to control a strike of Sushil KC of Sahara.

The police restored their lead two minutes later through penalty after Man Bahadur Tamang of Sahara hit the ball with his hand in the box. Man Bahadur was sent off the ground for his offense. Both the teams squandered some good chances of scoring in the match. Parbat of the winning side was adjudged the man-of-the-match.

Police coach Birat Krishna Shreshta expressed dissatisfaction over his team´s performance despite the victory. “The team could not put up a good show and the opponents too did not play well,” Shrestha said. “Some of our talented players are in the national squad for SAG football which hampered the team´s performance.”

The police team is without half a dozen first choice players - Jumanu Rai, Rabin Shrestha, Chetan Ghimire, Bhola Silwal, Suman Subedi and Yogesh Shrestha - as they are in Bangladesh to play SAG football.

Sahara coach Kiran Shrestha said that the injury of his key players like Jay Thapa and Kiran Gurung turned unfortunate for the team. “The penalty awarded to the police team became the turning point of the match,” Shrestha said. He also lauded the team´s performance against the strong opponents.

Nepal Army Club will take on Machhindra Club in the second quarterfinal match on Sunday.

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