Manang edges Army, extends lead
- ‘A’ Division League
Dec 15, 2018-
Manang Marshyangdi Club took a huge stride towards title after battling to a 1-0 win over one of firm favourite Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League football tournament on Friday.
Bishal Rai struck in the 31st minute which ultimately turned out to be the winner for MMC. The win not only kept MMC’s 100 percent winning record intact, but also opened up a three-point lead over Sankata Club. MMC has a maximum 24 points while Sankata has 21 from eight games. Defeat meant Army failed to close gap on the leaders and stay put in fourth place with 17 points, one behind another title contender Three Star Club. Three Star can reduce the gap on leaders to three points if it beats Machhindra Club on Saturday.
MMC was better of the two teams in the early exchanges and it almost scored just five minutes into the game. Adelaja Somide Oluwawunmi nicely anticipated a right wing cross from Kamal Shrestha across the face of the goal but the forward put himself in awkward position to shoot a goal. Instead he opted for a back heel shot which the Army goalkeeper scrambled to safety.
The Army team’s best chance came in the 26th minute only for an alert MMC goalkeeper Ashok Baral to palm out a Nawayug Shrestha header on a Tanka Basnet cross. MMC responded four minutes later and should have scored as Bishal shot off target in an unguarded post from inside the area.
The Army team did not have clear-cut chances on goal but did manage to create panic twice late in the first half. MMC goalie Baral was in right position to gather a flicked Nawayug header in the 39th minute. Baral also fumbled a straight forward shot from George Prince Karki deep into the injury time but recovered quickly enough to foil Bharat Khawas from capitalising on the mistake.
The Army team upped its ante after the break as Nawayug shot straight into the hands of MMC goalie on a left wing cross from Khawas. Karki plucked a chancy goal in the 53rd minute as his fierce strike from inside the area agonisingly flew just over the bar. Nawayug then squandered a golden chance shooting wildly off target from close range with goal at his mercy. Dinesh Henjan’s mistimed header inside the area fell nicely into path of Nawayug and with goalkeeper already beaten, the Army marksman shot wide.
MMC was unlucky not to have doubled its tally in the 76th minute as Victor Kamhuka’s powerful shot ricocheted off the inner bar. A minute later Olawale Oladipo Afeez missed yet another chance for MMC as he failed to beat onrushing Army keeper in a one-on-one encounter after a perfect through ball from Kamhuka. MMC survived some nervy moments but held firm to protect the slim lead.
In the early match at the same venue, Nepal Police Club (NPC) hammered Friends Club 5-0. Abhishek Rijal gave NPC the 5th minute lead before Ravi Paswan (31), Bharat Shah (59), Tej Tamang (62) and Nir Kumar Rai added a goal each for the departmental team. Despite the victory, NPC remained in fifth place with 14 points, three adrift of the fourth-placed Army team.
MMC 1-0 Army
NPC 5-0 Friends
Chyasal vs BBC (1100 NST)
Three Star vs Machhindra (1430 NST)
Published: 15-12-2018 10:32