Sports

Rana steers NPC into quarters

- MOHAN BUDHAYER, DHANGADHI

Jan 10, 2019-

A hat-trick from Tirtha Rana guided Nepal Police Club (NPC) to the 3-0 victory over Morang Football Club and a place in the quarter-finals of the third Khaptad Gold Cup football tournament on Wednesday. 

The departmental team dominated the show from the early moments and kept Morang under constant pressure. Their pressure paid off early in the seventh minute as a fierce Rana shot from the area kissed back of the net beyond the reach of goalkeeper Santosh Yonjan. Morang responded in the 25th minute only for NPC custodian Arpan Karki to block Bala’s freekick and Bidur Rijal ended up firing off target in the rebound.

Rana doubled the advantage in the 35th through a header thanks to a brilliant pass from Avishek Rijal. Rijal charged through from the wings, cut past custodian Yonjan inside the area before setting for Rana to score at the unattended post. The departmental team almost added the another in the 43rd minute when Tej Tamang’s powerful strike sailed inches above the bar.   

NPC maintained their pressure even after the break as Nir Kumar Rai’s volley in Santosh Hemran cross went just wide. Moments later Rai’s strike rattled on the crossbar. NPC missed yet another chance in the 75th minute as Hemran applied a weak straight into the hands of goalkeeper Yonjan. Rana completed his hat-trick in the stoppage time capitalising on a pass of Rijal. Lama was declared man-of-the-match and won Rs 10,000.

Morang coach Sanjiv Budhathoki said his side failed to put on a challenge to the mighty opponents like NPC. NPC coach Ananta Raj Thapa was pleased with the result. “We took our time to gel playing in the new ground. But we gradually grew in confidence and the result was everyone to see,” said Thapa whose team take on Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League champions Manang Marshyangdi Club in the quarter-finals on January 13.

Chyasal Youth Club will play Chyasal Youth Club on Thursday.

 

Published: 10-01-2019 09:39

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