HETAUDA, Nov 1: Nepal Police lifted the title of Ncell 15th National Women´s Football Tournament with a 1-0 victory over Armed Police Force (APF) on Friday thanks to a late own goal from Sajana Rana in the final held at Gauritar in Hetauda, Makawanpur.
Rana, who was declared the best player of the tournament, put the ball into her own goal six minutes from time to gift Police the title.
Rana directed the ball toward her own net in a bid to clear a corner taken by Yashoda Lama. The defeat also dashed APF´s hopes of claiming the trophy for the third time in a row. APF had won the previous two editions defeating Police in the final.
Rana, who finished the tournament as the topscorer with 16 goals, was not happy despite being awarded a scooter as the best player of the tournament. "I am very disappointed that the team lost due to my mistake," said Rana, "The ball came to me suddenly. As it was unexpected I could not take the right decision."
Champion Police bagged a purse of Rs 300,000 along with the winner´s trophy and runner-up APF received Rs 150,000 along with trophy, medals and certificates. The two semifinalists -- Nepal Army and Kailali -- got Rs 50,000 each.
In the final attended by a large number of local spectators, APF, studded with six national players, took the first half under control and created frequent chances but failed to convert them. The second half of the match was evenly poised with Police, featuring seven Nepali internationals, also creating a few chances.
Police coach Sandesh Shrestha said that his side has proved to be a better team than APF. "We had also defeated APF in our previous two meetings during the National League in Dhangadhi and the CoAS Trophy in Kathmandu. Therefore, my aim of proving Police as the number one team by lifting the Ncell Cup has been fulfilled," said Shrestha.
APF coach Nara Bahadur Rai, lamenting the own goal, said, "We were defeated technically due to the own goal despite putting in a better performance."
Police also dominated the individual awards, with its coach and three players taking home four of the five awards up for grabs.
Police´s Namita Dali (goalkeeper), Dhim Kumari Ghale (defender) and Niru Thapa (forward) won the best player awards in their respective positions and Sandesh Shrestha (coach) of Police was declared the best coach. APF´s Renuka Nagarkoti won the best midfielder award. All of them received Rs 25,000 each.