kathamandu,Feb, 13-Hosts Dharan Football Club advanced to the semi-finals of the Budha Subba Gold Cup football tournament with a 2-0 win over Dalhousie Athletic Club of Kolkata on Tuesday.
Milan Rai and Bartaman Rai scored for Dharan, who will next play Sankara Club on Thursday for a place in the final. Milan jinked through from the midfield to score in a solitary effort early in the ninth minute. Bartaman doubled their tally in the 23rd minute cutting past Dalhousie defenders and chipping over the advancing goalkeeper.
The hosts had fielded all the local players in the tournament breaking the past trend of filling their squad with established players of the country. Dharan have never won the tournament so far.
Dharan kept on piling pressure even after the break but failed to add to their tally. Milan was denied by Dalhousie goalkeeper following an acute pass from Bartaman five minutes after the break. Milan failed to add to his goal tally in the 65th minute when he shot off target in a Sujan Limbu back pass. Moments later Dalhousie goalkeeper made a brilliant save to deny a wonderful freekick from Milan.
Dalhousie also had a fair number of goal scoring chances but were unable to make those count. Dalhousie should have pulled levelled in the 16th minute when R Sharma’s header off G Mandal was superbly foiled by Dharan goalkeeper Binay Shrestha. A Roy then fired just wide of the target in the 44th minute for the Kolkata-based outfits. D Biswas was then denied the Dharan defender in the 73rd minute to all but seal the fate of the visiting team.
Dharan coach Sagar Ghimire termed his team’s performance as the best in four years. “As the players were from Dharan itself, they had a good tuning. We scored two but should have added more,” said the delighted coach. Bartaman was adjudged man-of-the-match and received Rs 15,000.
Dalhousie coach Supriya Das said his team lack coordination and paid the price with defeat. “We had the experience of playing in the Kolkata Premier League and Super League but the current crop of players are yet to gel as a team. To add to our woes we put ourselves under pressure after conceding two early goals,” said Das.
Nepal APF Club will take on Dauphins Family of Cameroon on Wednesday.