Dauphins set Dharan title showdown

- Pradeep Menyangbo, Dharan

Feb 16, 2019-

Dauphins Family of Cameroon set the title clash of the Budha Subba Gold Cup football tournament with hosts Dharan Football Club after defeating Nepal Police Club (NPC) in sudden death penalty shootout on Friday.

The second semi-final was pushed to tiebreaker after 90 minutes of regulation play ended in a goalless stalemate. Both teams converted all five penalties meaning the game was decided through sudden death shootout. Bikram Dhimal was denied by Dauphins goalkeeper Priso Anjama in the first spot kick in sudden death allowing a chance for Dauphins to secure victory. Jo Angola stepped in to take the spot kick for Dauphins which he dully converted to send the five-time Budha Subba Gold Cup champion packing.

Nepal made it to the semi-finals after defeating Sahara Club of Pokhara in sudden death penalty shootout. Had NPC won on Friday, it would have been the 10th final appearance for the departmental team in Dharan. Dauphins, on the contrary, were making just the first appearance in the tournament having clinched the Pokhara Cup title on Sunday.

NPC appeared to take control of the game early on and threatened Dauphins in the 10th minute. Nir Kumar Rai wasted a good opportunity as he delayed a shot on a Man Bahadur pass allowing Dauphins defender to clear the ball to safety. Dauphins custodian Priso then kept his team very much in the game by denying Rabi Paswan in the first half injury time. Paswan then shot wide of the target having nicely set up by a Nir Kumar Rai corner in the second half.

Dauphins also had a fair number of scoring chances of their own, notably in the 12th minute when NPC goalkeeper Satrughan Chaudhary foiled a power Yannick shot at goal, punching the ball for a corner. Oko Bota also wasted another chance for Dauphins in the 38th minute.

NPC coach Ananta Thapa said he had no complaints against his players. “Our boys put in a valiant effort throughout the game. But luck deserted us in the tiebreaker,” said the NPC coach. Dauphins coach Orel Imen believed the game was a 50-50 affair.

“We failed to create clear cut scoring chances in open play but we were lucky to scrape through,” said the Dauphins coach. The final is in Saturday.

Published: 16-02-2019 10:53

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