Sports

‘A’ Division League: Saraswoti fightback stuns Chyasal 2-1

- PRAJWAL OLI, LALITPUR

Jan 2, 2019-

Saraswoti Youth Club staged a late comeback to overcome Chyasal Youth Club 2-1 while Nepal APF Club thumped Nepal Police Club (NPC) 4-1 in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League on Tuesday. 

Manish Thapa levelled the scores for Saraswoti four minutes from time to cancel Chyasal’s 14th minute lead taken through Sajin Thapa at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato. But Nigerian recruit Francis Okechukwu Onyeama hit the winner in the stoppage time for Saraswoti. The victory ensured Saraswoti will finish the league above bottom two positions with at least 12 points and avoid two-point deduction next season. The tournament does not have the provision of relegation but the bottom two teams will see deduction of one and two points next season. 

At the APF grounds in Halchowk, forward Yubaraj Khadka struck twice for the home team after Rajendra Rawal and Hari Karki had put them 2-0 ahead before half an hour mark. Ajit Bhandari pulled one back for NPC in the departmental derby. The victory lifted APF two spots up to fifth with 20 points, two ahead of NPC with only last round matches left. Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), who have won all 11 matches, have already sealed the league title with two games to spare. 

Chyasal went ahead in the 14th minute thanks to a defensive error from Raj Shahi as his clearance inside the area deflected at Sajin Thapa Magar and went beyond the reach of goalkeeper Pradip Bhandari. Chyasal kept on piling pressure and midfielder Hemanta Thapa Magar’s 30-yard strike rattled the crossbar in the 20th. Nine minutes later Chyasal’s Sunil Khadka ended up firing high from close range after custodian Pradip Bhandari fumbled a Thapa Magar freekick at the six-yard box. 

In the 35th, Saraswoti’s Nigerian forward Victor Amobi shot wide and skipper Raj Kumar Ghising ended up shooting high in the 41st. Chyasal’s Santa Bahadur Gurung wasted a sitter in the first half injury time as he tapped above bar from close. Victor’s right flank strike in the 63rd was denied by diving goalie Dinesh Thapa Magar. The goalkeeper was again called into action to prevent Ramesh Tamang’s 25-yard scorcher. But to the dismay of Chyasal, custodian Thapa Magar let in Manish Thapa’s 35-yard freekick that had landed straight into his hand in the 86th minute. 

Saraswoti kept pushing for the winning goal and got it five minutes into stoppage time. Nigerian Francis applied a thunderous volley in counter attack after he was supplied by defender Hang Rai to stun Chyasal. “We conceded a late goal due to the blunder from goalkeeper which was very unfortunate,” said Chyasal coach Raju Shakya. “It was one of the worst performance from out team,” added the former national team coach. “The outcome has definitely weakened our bid for Top Six finish.” Saraswoti coach Pradip Nepal credited the victory to the hard effort of players and attacking formation of the team. “Now we are safe from the bottom two and I am satisfied with the overall run in the league,” said Nepal. 

At Halchowk, APF came up with attacking intent and midfielder Rajendra Rawal put the home team ahead in the 20th minute. Hari Kari doubled their tally eight minutes later before the home team took 3-0 lead in the 43rd through Yubaraj Khadka. Ajit Bhandari struck for NPC in the first half injury time. Khadka netted his second goal in the 86th minute to seal the APF win and take his scoring tally to five goals. 

 

Today’s Fixtures

 

Sankta vs Three Star (1430 NST, Satdobato)

Himalayan Sherpa vs MMC (1430 NST, Halchowk)

 

Published: 02-01-2019 07:58

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