Lama late goal puts APF past SaharaLama, the highest scorer of the last Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League, scored the decisive goal three minutes from time to secure a semi-final berth in the tournament that features eight teams.
A late goal from Ashis Lama gave Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club a winning start as they stunned hosts Sahara Club 1-0 in the curtain raiser of the 19th Aaha-Rara Gold Cup football tournament at the Pokhara Stadium, Kaski on Saturday.
Lama, the highest scorer of the last Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League, scored the decisive goal three minutes from time to secure a semi-final berth in the tournament that features eight teams. Lama made a cool finish to convert Pradip Lama cross. He fired a left-footed shot at the near post leaving Sahara custodian Deep Karki clueless.
In the fifth minute, APF tested Sahara goalie Karki when he denied Prabin Syangtan's header in Buddiman Rai cross. In the 26th, Sahara's foreign recruit Adam Dumbia cleared Pradip Lama's cross inside the area. In the 45th, Pradip Lama's scorcher was denied by Sahara glovesman Karki.
Sahara got a scoring opportunity two minutes after the restart when Binod Gurung stole a ball from the APF defence line-up and fed Tridev Gurung. But the forward shot straight at APF goalie Raju Nagarkoti.
Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League champions Machhindra Club will vie against Cameroon African Root Association.
The tournament featuring eight teams—hosts Sahara, APF, Nepal Police Club, Machhindra Club, Sankata Club, Manang Marshyangdi Club, Three Star Club and African Root Association—carries a purse of around Rs1 million for the winners and Rs500,000 for the runners-up.