Pankaj steers police to final


POKHARA, Feb 3: A lone goal from Pankaj Shahi helped Nepal Police Club (NPC) secure final berth in the Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament on Wednesday as they defeated Manang Marshyangdi Club 1-0 at the Pokhara Stadium.

The decider of the match came in the 49th minute through a strike of Pankaj from the box when MMC goalie Bishal Shreshta came forward to collect the ball.

Police will take on the Thursday´s winners between New Road Team (NRT) and Nepal Army Club in the final match on Saturday.

In the competitive match, MMC backed by huge spectators seemed to be unlucky as the assistant referee ruled Shiva Shrestha´s goal for MMC as offside.

Police goalie Ritesh Thapa was declared the man-of-the-match. Both the teams squandered some good chances of scoring in the match.

Senior player of Police Hari Khadka commented that the police emerged victorious due to good coordination among the players. “The team spirit was one of the factors behind our win and we also utilized scoring opportunity,” Khadka said.

MMC officials refused to comment about the match.

The police team came on the ground minus half-a-dozen of their prominent players as they have gone to Dhaka to play SAG football. Jumanu Rai, Chetan Ghimire, Bhola Silwal, Yogesh Shrestha, Rabin Shrestha and Suman Subedi are in Dhaka. The police players are scheduled to arrive in Pokhara on Friday.

“If needed I will also play in the final,” Khadka said.

Police have entered the final of all the editions of Aaha Gold Cup they have participated in. They are the title holders of the first, sixth and seventh editions of the tournament and are looking to defend the title in the eighth edition.

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