Gole late goal saves APF from Police scareRabina Gole scored late in the second half to give the departmental giants a 2-1 win over Nepal Police Club.
Rabina Gole came off the bench and scored a late winner as Armed Police Force (APF) Club earned a hard-fought win over Nepal Police Club in the National Women’s League at the ANFA Complex on Monday.
Police fielded five defenders to neutralise the AFP’s ruthless attack that had already scored 71 goals in just nine matches. Manda Mukhiya was handed the task of marking APF’s firepower Sabitra Bhandari and that worked.
AFP kept the ball in possession continually looking for opportunities against a solid Police defence and almost came near to scoring on the half hour mark when Bhandari managed to break free of the tail after a clever pass by Saru Limbu but Police goalkeeper Usha Nath saved the ball with her right foot.
Sanjeev Joshi’s departmental side came close to scoring in the 9th minute when APF defender Gita Rana supplied a weak back header to the base allowing Police forward Nirmala BK enough space to mug a header but AFP goalkeeper reached earlier to ward off the early disaster.
But it was APF who were gifted the lead through an own goal from Police defender and captain Ghim Kumari Gurung in the 68th minute. Gurung’s attempt to block a tame shot from APF’s substitute Sushma Tamang deflected past goalkeeper Nath into the back of the net.
Minutes later Anjali Yonjan sent a long ball looking for Bhandari at the Police box. As Yonjan’s pass was behind Bhandari, the striker improvised with a back-heel volley over her head and the ball flew over the advancing goalkeeper towards the empty net before Police defenders rushed to clear it. The APF suffered a setback as a result of the move as Bhandari hurt herself while attempting the scorpion kick and had to be stretchered off.
Police took the advantage and equalised soon when Amrita Jaisi struck brilliantly from far outside the area in the 75th minute.
Gole, who replaced injured Bhandari, had the final say in the 86th minute. It was a see-saw game after Bhandari was replaced but Gole was left unattended. Tamang, who had taken the armband from Anita Basnet after the break, fed the ball into the penalty box and the unmarked Gole was free to strike into the right-bottom corner.
It was the first time the champions have failed to keep a clean sheet in the league. Regardless of the result, the win puts the leaders in a strong position in the table—needing only one win to clinch the title. They next face Biratnagar on February 17, before taking on Army at the Dasharath Stadium on the final day.
They have 30 points from ten matches, and five ahead of second-placed Tribhuvan Army Club.
“It was a tough win. Injury to Bhandari also affected our performance,” said APF coach Bhagawoti Thapa.
Police coach Sanjeev Thapa said they were unlucky to have lost the game.
“The own goal was unfortunate. Otherwise, we would have at least drawn the match,” said Thapa.
Biratnagar Metropolitan City climbed to third in the table after defeating Waling Municipality 1-0 later in the day. Asha Kumari scored from a free kick to give Biratnagar their fifth win in 11 matches.
Waling slipped to fourth spot with 14 points and are two points behind Biratnagar. Fifth-placed Police also have 14 points but have played a game less.
Chandrapur will meet winless Chaudandigadhi in Tuesday’s only fixture.