Source: The Kathmandu Post
Picture courtesy: The Kathmandu Post
KATHMANDU, SEP 22 -
A hat-trick from Ganesh Lawati in quick succession gave Armed Police Force (APF) an easy 4-0 win over newly promoted Bansbari Club on the second day of the San Miguel Knockout Football Tournament at the Dashrath Stadium on Wednesday.
Lawati opened the scoring for APF on 23 minutes and added his second two minutes later. His third of the day came two minutes before the interval after Santosh Shrestha had made it 3-0 for APF on 26 minutes. The win put APF in the second round of the event where they will meet Nabil Three Star Club on Sunday.
APF looked dominant against an inexperienced Bansbari side, who are back to top flight football after 10 years since being relegated in 2000. The departmental team’s dominance over the new boys could be summed up from the fact that they were denied by the upright three times in the first half alone.
“We have been practicing since the end of the league. To be honest, we had expected the score line to be more one-sided but after the first half we decided to set our team for our next game against Three Star Club,” said APF Manager Prem Kumar Shrestha, adding, “We hope to lift the title.”
APF, playing under new coach Dil Kaji Kumar Gurung, a retired army man, have overhauled their squad signing Nirajan Malla from Sankata, Jeewan Sinkeman from New Road Team and Noor Raj Kafle from Friends Club among others. But it was Malla who stole the show with his skillful handling of the ball and his deadly post attempts. Though none of them could find the back of the net, it was clear there is plenty more to come from the young sensation.
Bansbari, on the hand, had their second choice keeper Navaraj Bohora to thank for in the second half. Bohora came inside the pitch replacing Min Durga on 71 minutes and quickly became a crowd puller with his unique ways under the post. His performance was equally pleasing as he saved three consecutive near attempts of Nirajan Malla to limit APF to four goals.
“We had not prepared well for the event but we hope to put up a better show in other tournaments we compete in,” said Hari Om Shrestha of Bansbari Club.