Sankata, Manang fight in League’s virtual final

- PRAJWAL OLI, Kathmandu

Dec 26, 2018-

Leader Manang Marshyangdi Club can put other teams’ title hopes to bed by defeating second-placed Sankata Club in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League when the 11th round of the tournament kicks off from Tuesday. 

With just Sankata and Three Star Club left in contention for title, a victory for  MMC will ensure it an eighth crown but a draw will still make it a three-team race. Buoyed by its 100 percent winning streak in the league, a star-studded has now set lofty ambitions of not only beating Sankata but also setting record of winning league title triumphing in all its remaining matches. 

MMC has 30 points from 10 games, while Sankata has 25 with eight wins one draw and defeat each. “We are almost assured of the title now,” MMC coach Suman Shrestha had said after his side’s nervy 1-0 victory over Nepal Police Club on Sunday. “Now we have the goal of lifting trophy by winning all matches of the league. Everyone including the players, coaches and the team management is united and working hard to achieve this goal,” he said.

Sankata, a mediocre team without single current national players and big name foreign signing, unexpectedly rose to second spot. In fact, Sankata coach Salyan Khadgi had said the ambitions of the team was to round up inside top five before ninth round. 

But after Three Star were held to a draw by Chyasal Youth Club, Khadgi went on to set high ambitions.  “Since we have succeeded on our initial target, we will now fight for the title,” he said. “If we defeat MMC, we can fight for the title,,” Khadgi added.

  MMC coach Shrestha dubbed the match against Sankata as final for his side. “It is like final for us because defeating them will secure us title. But the match is equally significant for Sankata in their push for title challenge. We are expecting a tough challenge from them,”  said Shrestha whose side will be without Zimbabwean midfielder Victor Kamhuka due to one-match suspension.  

“We will come up with strongest possible starting line up as they are a strong side. We will make the strategy after analysing opponent’s game plan,” he said. 

Nigerian forward Olawale Afeez, who has scored six goals from eight matches and inform Nepali international midfielder Anjan Bista will hold the key for MMC. Bista, with five goals under his belt, is the third highest scorer of the league only two goals behind Ranjit Dhimal. Afeez has six.  

Brigade Boys Club will play Himalayan Sherpa Club and Jawalakhel Youth Club will take on Machhindra Club at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato on Tuesday while New Road Team will meet Friends Club at the APF grounds in Halchowk. 

Published: 26-12-2018 08:32

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