KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Nepal Police Club (NPC) striker Chet Kumar (Chetan) Ghimire scored the lone goal of the match in the 73rd minute against Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club on Thursday in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League.
He threw off his jersey, screamed and made a long run to salute top Nepal Policeofficials present at the stadium.
The goal not only confirmed three-time champion NPC´s berth in the super-eight round but also brought a huge relief to the striker as it was the first goal scored by Ghimire in last two-and-a-half years.
Ghimire, a product of the third batch of ANFA Academy, was on cloud nine until April 2010 as his football career had been paying off. He had scored two goals against Uzbekistan and a goal against Kyrgyzstan in 2006 to help Nepal qualify for the final round of the AFC U-16 Championship. He had won his first national team cap in 2009 against Palestine in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers and then won five more caps.
NPC players celebrate. (Photo: Bikash Karki)
He had started professional footballing career in 2063 BS after joining Sankata Club. He then joined the Nepal Police Club. However, left knee injury during the Martyrs Memorial League in April 2010 had forced him out of the pitch. He had played 16 matches and scored eight goals in the league.
All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) provided assistance for his treatment at Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Qatar in July 2012. Following treatment, Ghimire made comeback in the domestic football through the Ncell Cup earlier this year. He had played two matches in the Ncell Cup and all the 15 matches of the ongoing league but he had been unable to score until Thursday.
"I was desperately waiting to score and I succeeded in a vital match," said Ghimire to Republica. "It has relieved me of pressure," he added. Ghimire had scored his last goal against Machhindra Club in the league in April 27, 2010, when the police had won the match 2-1.
Ghimire reacts after scoring. (Photo: Bikash Karki)
Following Thursday´s performance, 23-year-old Ghimire got a call from the national team coach for training of the national squad for the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup.
"It was a painful period for me to merely watch my club and the national team playing on the ground," said Ghimire, who hails from Janakpur. "I´ll give my best in the training to earn national cap once again," he added.
Ghimire, Thapa guides NPC to super-eight
Only the win against Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club on Thursday could have secured defending champion NPC´s berth in the super-eight round in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League. Loss or draw on Thursday could have cleared the way for Simrik Saraswati Club.
Jawalakhel, which had avoided relegation threat after Madhyapur Youth Association´s loss against Yeti Himalayan Sherpa on Wednesday, gave a tough fight to NPC.
NPC vs Jawalakhel Club. (Photo: Bikash Karki)
However, Chet Kumar Ghimire scored the lone goal of the match in the 73rd minute utilizing Bhola Silwal´s cross to give 1-0 lead to NPC. NPC´s goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa made a brilliant save in the last minute of the match. Thapa had managed to block unmarked Juma Benlee´s powerful shot from the danger area to seal the victory.
NPC and Saraswati both have equal 23 points but the former qualified to the super-eight round on the basis of head to head result. NPC had thrashed Saraswati 3-0 in the league.