KATHMANDU, Sept 24: Nepal Police Club (NPC) secured semifinal berth in the ongoing San Miguel A-Division Knockout Football Tournament thrashing the newly promoted Bauddha Football Club (BFC) in the quarterfinal match played at the Dasharath Stadium on Friday.
NPC, who are known for teamwork and speed game, were not in their rhythm but were able to dominate Bauddha.
Bhola Silwal scored a brilliant goal in the 19th minute of the first half to seal the victory for the league champions. Ramesh Katwal passed the ball to Silwal, who dodged two defenders for a powerful shot that went into the net.
NPC missed the chance to double the score as Jitendra Singh Bista missed a chance in the 27th minute. Likewise, Yogesh Shrestha´s powerful shot was deflected in the injury time of the first half.
Jumanu Rai, the star striker of NPC, came off the bench in the second half and provided a beautiful cross to Shrestha in the 63rd minute but he squandered the chance.
NPC built continuous pressure but could not find the net. Om Prakash Dhaugada saved Katwal´s powerful header in 71st minute while Bauddha custodian Binod Maharjan made a diving save to prevent Dipen Shrestha´s shot.
Bauddha captained by former national team midfielder Rajesh Shahi created very few moves and also wasted some scoring chances. Shahi´s long range shot was saved by NPC goalie Ritesh Thapa in the 29th minute. Meanwhile, NPC defender Suman Subedi blocked a brilliant move set by Buddha Tamang in the 50th minute.
Ramesh Dangal produced a good header taking the free kick off Khum Gurung in 87th minute but goalkeeper Thapa saved it from the line. In the dying seconds of the match, Gurung tumbled in the NPC´s box after receiving Bijay Majhi´s pass.
NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said his team was not set following the long break after the conclusion of league. "We are a departmental team and some of our vital players have been missing football training," said Shrestha. "We lack preparation".
Likewise, BFC coach Arjun Lama also claimed the same thing. "We spent most of our time looking for players who can play 90 minutes. We got only two days for training. We didn´t play proper football today but hope we´ll do better in upcoming tournaments," said Lama.