‘A’ Division League: Three Star closes gap on MMC

- Ritesh Rijal, Kathmandu

Dec 16, 2018-

Three Star Club rose to second in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League table with a 1-0 win over Machhindra Football Club at the Armed Police Force Stadium in Halchowk on Saturday.

One of the title favourites, the Lalitpur-based top-tier outfits were made to battle for all three points by Machhindra. Ranjit Dhimal struck the winning goal from penalty early in the 11th minute. Three star was awarded the spot kick after Machhindra defender Anjan Devkota handed the ball inside the area.

The result meant Three Star climbed to second with 21 points from eight games. Sankata also have 21 points and only goal difference separates the two teams. Manang Marshyangdi Club leads the standings with maximum 24 points from eight matches. It is the only team to have 100 percent winning record at the end of the eighth round.

Earlier Chyasal Youth Club defeated Brigade Boys Club (BBC) 2-0 on goals from Santa Bahadur Gurung and Sanjok Rai. The victory lifted Chyasal to one spot up to sixth with 10 points from eight games. BBC remain in 14th with four points. Former Three forward Santosh Sahukhala was centre of Chyasal’s almost all the moves in a match BBC failed to muster a single meaningful shot on target.

A lacklustre first half ended with Chyasal almost pulling off a goal in the injury time. BBC goalkeeper Sagar Raya acrobatically palmed out a goal-bound shot from Sahukhala. It was all Chyasal show after the break as Sahukhala failed to give proper direction to his shot from inside the area following a Amir Shrestha cross in the 49th minute. Sahukhala yet again missed a chance in the 57th minute when under challenge from BBC defenders the forward shot off target with goal at his mercy.

The persistent Chyasal pressure finally told in the 65th minute as Gurung met a perfectly timed right wing cross from Amir to tap in from close. Chyasal added the second in the 82nd minute thanks to a brilliance from Sahukhala, who cut past as many as three defender before letting a short through pass inside the area for Rai to score. The hero turned villain in the 85th minute when Sahukhala was sent off for a foul-mouth tirade against referee Nabindra Maharjan. Maharjan booked Sahukhala for a foul and the forward resorted to dissent in disagreement to the decision.

Despite playing with a man short, Chyasal was unlucky not to have added the third goal a minute into the second half injury time. With just Raya to beat, Gurung lofted the ball over the advancing BBC goalkeeper and towards the empty net. To the dismay of Gurung the ball took a nasty bounce, hit the inner upright. Already giving up the hopes, Raya reacted first to pick himself up from the ground and charge back to clear the ball to safety allowing no second chance for Gurung to go for second attempt.

The league resumes on Monday after a day’s break when bottom side New Road Team tackles Himalayan Sherpa and Saraswati Club take on Jawalakhel Youth Club at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato. Sankata will play against Friends Club in another game at the APF Stadium in Halchowk the same day..

Published: 16-12-2018 09:10

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