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Rupandehi advances into semifinal in Jhapa

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Jhapa, January 3, 2017: Rupandehi XI has advanced to the semifinal of the ongoing Mechi Netralaya Kakarbhitta Gold Cup registering 3-1 win over Fans Club BRC, Bhutan on Monday.

In the quarterfinal match played in Kakrbhitta, Dipak Rai scored a brace for Rupandehi while Laxman Ruchal netted one goal for Rupandehi and Ramesh KC notched a consolation goal for the Bhutanese club.

Fans Club BRC conceded a goal as early as in the second minute after its goalkeeper Nishan Bhujel made a blunder while attempting to clear Rupandehi’s player Armond’s shot with feeble header. Dipak, then collected the ball and fired it into the Fans Club BRC’s net.

Fans Club BRC’s head coach substituted Nishan and brought on Dipanshu Raut few minutes later. However, that move couldn’t prevent Bhutanese side from conceding two more goals.

Fans Club BRC that had fielded comparatively weaker and smaller players in physique lost its confidence after conceding the early goal which affected their performance throughout the match.

Rupandehi got another scoring chance in the 20th minute when Armond charged a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty box beating goalkeeper. However, his effort was denied when Nabin Gurung cleared that ball from the goalline. Seven minutes later, Fans Club BRC’s got an opportunity to pull an equalizer but after Abhisek Rai failed to direct the ball into the opponent’s net from close range, the visiting team couldn’t level the score.

Rupandehi’s second goal came in the 71st minute as man-of-the-match Dipak Rai netted a beautiful free kick beating BRC’s goalie Dipanshu. Nine minutes later, Dipesh KC pulled back one goal for BRC controlling the air ball before firing it in Rupandehi’s post from 18 yards. After scoring the goal, BRC’s players became excited and started to push forward causing lapse in its defense line. That gave Rupandehi a chance for counter attack and Laxman Ruchal notched the final goal for the winning side in the stoppage time.

Despite the victory, Rupandehi’s head coach Dayaram Sapkota wasn’t satisfied with his players’   performance. “We should have won the game with big margin as we created lots of chances. But due to poor conversion from my players we couldn’t capitalized in all chances. They didn’t play up to their potential,” said Sapkota.

However, BRC’s head coach Yubraj Rai was happy despite the defeat. “I am happy with the performance of my team. Despite fielding junior players against a strong opponent, we lost by small margin which is satisfactory result for us.”

On Tuesday, departmental side Armed Police Club (APF) will take on CMG Sankata.

By Raju Adhikari