Khaptad Gold Cup : Kakarvitta rally to defeat APFMechi Netralaya Kakarvitta Football Training Centre fought back from a goal down to beat Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club 2-1 to enter the semi-finals of the Sudurpaschim Khaptad Gold Cup football tournament in Dhangadhi on Saturday.
Mechi Netralaya Kakarvitta Football Training Centre fought back from a goal down to beat Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club 2-1 to enter the semi-finals of the Sudurpaschim Khaptad Gold Cup football tournament in Dhangadhi on Saturday.
Forward Bishwas Shrestha cancelled out APF’s early lead taken through Yubaraj Khadka in the first half before Bikash Rai ensured the victory late in the second half. Kakarvitta will meet the winners between Three Star Club and Chyasal Youth Club in the semi-final.
APF forward Khadka gave ninth minute lead to the departmental team. The in-form forward collected Shyam Nepali pass before slamming in from outside the area. Kakarvitta’s Shrestha, who played for Himalayan Sherpa Club in the recently concluded Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League and netted six goals, brought APF goalie Raju Yogi into action in the 26th minute. He forced the custodian for a diving save to deny his strike from the zone.
Kakarvitta’s push for the equaliser was rewarded in the 41st minute through Shrestha who collected a through pass from Bishal Rai and rounded up goalie Yogi before rolling the ball at the open goalpost.
Kakarvitta could have gone into break with lead but skipper Khamir Gilson Kandangwa ended up firing off the target in the first half stoppage time. The ball had dropped at Kandangwa’s way after APF goalie Nagarkoti fumbled Bishwas Shrestha’s freekick inside the zone.
Kakarvitta wasted yet another scoring chance in the 61st as Bishal Rai shot wide after beating an offside trap in a Bishnu Sunuwar freekick. But Kakarvitta netted the second goal three minutes from time to seal the victory. Bikash Rai’s strike from just outside the crowded zone in a corner landed at the back of net.
Kakarvitta forward Shrestha was declared the-man-of-the-match. Their coach Karna Thapa Magar said that the first half equaliser instilled confidence in his side. “Though we could not make good start, the equaliser gave confidence to us and we performed better in the second half,” said Thapa Magar.
Recently crowned Martyrs Memorial League champions Manang Marshyangdi Club will take on Nepal Police Club on Sunday. The highest cash prize knockout football tournament offers Rs 2.1 million to the winners and Rs 1 million to the runners up.