KATHMANDU, Oct 10: McDowell´s Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) ended the fairytale run of Iceberg Madhyapur Youth Association in the semifinal on Wednesday with a 2-0 win in the Ncell Cup Football Championship being held at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.
One goal each from Amar Dangol and Yugal Kishor Rai in the first half became sufficient for RCT to move into final for the first time after 12 years in top tire football being held in Kathmandu.
Since winning the title of Birthday Cup Football title in 2057 BS RCT had never crossed quarterfinal stage of any tournament held in Kathmandu.
The win made the coach Madhu Karki and RCT officials at the box erupt with joy. "We did not miss the chance of making into final in Kathmandu and the club is delighted with the achievement," Karki said during the post match conference.
However, RCT had won the title of Budhasubba Gold Cup (Dharan) in 2066 BS and finished runners up in three tournaments in 2067 BS, all held outside Kathmandu.
RCT will now take on the winner among of second semifinal to be played between Nepal Police Club and Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club in the final. The semifinal will be held on Thursday.
RCT´s Ivory Coast forward Oladipo Olawala Afeez turned hero in course of RCT´s victory who set passes for both goals. Afeez supplied an acute cross to Dangol who volleyed in from six yard box to open put the team in charge in the 19th minute leaving Madhyapur goalie Bikesh Kutu helpless.
The goal turned to be the fifth goal for Danogl, the highest scorer of the tournament, who has emerged as the one of main contender of best forward.
Dangol has scored in all mates of the tournament other than quarterfinal against Bauddha FC which was settled through tiebreaker following goalless draw.
Yugal Kishor Rai, who squandered twin scoring chances in the first half amended his mistake in the 44th minute after chest controlling a pass from Afeez and easily sending the ball at the back of net.
Madhyapur enjoying top tire football for the first time gave tried to give some resistance despite the absence of four players of the starting line up due as they were booked with doubled card. RCT was without its skipper Jeevan Sinkeman, forward Balgopal Sahukhala, Rupendra Shrestha and Bed Shrestha.
On a couple of occasion, Madhyapur also looked unlucky as it failed to convert penalty in the 55th minute and cut the deficit. Penalty taken by Saroj Dhala was brilliantly dived and saved by RCT skipper and goalie Dilip Chettery after defender Neeraj Remi Magar handed ball in the area trying to defend Nirajan Rayamajhi´s shot moving towards empty net.
Similarly, in the 85th minute, Madhyapur missed other scoring chance after its forward hit the woodwork dribbling past two defenders and the goalie Chhetri. In the first half, Rayamajhi fired a freekick inches above bar. Similarly, Rayamahi´s header in the injury time of first half sailed above bar.
Madhyapur boss Upendra Man Singh praised his side despite the defeat. "It is a great achievement and experience for the club and I am not disappointed with the result. Singh also praised the effort of his team. "We were loose in defensive marking today. But we learned lot from the Ncell Cup and will amend our mistakes in the upcoming tournament."
"There was also lack of senior players in the team and the absence of four players also hampered the performance," said Singh who informed that his side will start preparation for the league from now and not release his players for Safal Gold Cup to be held in Pokhara a month later.
Singh´s counterpart Madhu Karki commented that that the win was the result of hard work of the team and discipline of players. He also praised his forwards Rai and Afeez.