Sports

‘A’ Division League: Armed Police Force pip 2nd-placed Sankata club

  • ‘A’ Division League
- PRAJWAL OLI, LALITPUR

Jan 8, 2019-

Fifth-place Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club spoiled runners-up Sankata Club’s party with a 2-1 victory in their last match of the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato on Monday. 

Goals either side of the break from Yubaraj Khadka and Rajan Gurung gave the departmental team victory over Sankata, who finished the league with the third defeat. Laxman Ruchal pulled one back for Sankata, who had already confirmed the runners-up finish with a match in hand, deep into the stoppage time. 

The result did not change either sides’ position in the final standings as APF, who recorded their seventh win, finished with 23 points and Sankata in second with 28 points. Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) sealed the league title with two games to spare and look to finish their campaign with 100 percent winning record. MMC have maximum 36 points from 12 games and play Friends Club on the last day of the League on Tuesday. 

“Sankata were high on confident as they had already secured second place and did not put full effort,” APF coach Rajendra Tamang said. “We took advantage of their mindset to record victory,” said the former Three Star player who was satisfied with his team’s overall run. “We were languishing in 11th place at one point but managed to finish fifth. We just fell shot of our target of finishing Top Three,” he added. 

His Sankata counterpart Salyan Khadgi had also similar views. “As we had already cemented the second place, our boys took the match lightly and lost it,” said Khadgi who is believed to be the person behind underdog Sankata’s dramatic surge in league. “The position achieved in the league is really exciting as it was much better than our initial target,” added Khadgi. “The credit goes to the hard working players and the management who trusted me.”

It was APF who threatened Sankata early in the seventh minute as Pradeep Lama forced Sankata goalkeeper Raja Babu Shrestha to make a diving save at the far post. Sankata responded two minutes later through Ellon Maxwell when goalie Raju Yogi punched out the Cameroonian forward’s shot from the penalty area. In the 17th goalkeeper Yogi denied Maxwell’s compatriot Cedric Aba’s powerful low drive. 

Yubaraj Khadka broke the deadlock for APF in the 23rd as he collected a pass from Ashis Lama, charged forward before beating glovesman Shrestha with a close range finish. Sankata should have levelled scores in the 58th but Aba wasted a sitter as his tap in flew high above the bar on a Roman Limbu cross. Seven minutes later Maxwell also ended up firing high following a brilliant pass from Aba. 

APF doubled their tally in the 72nd when Rajan Gurung headed home Sudip Shikhrakar’s freekick from the crowded area. APF survived a scare in the 84th minute as Shikrakar made a goalline clearance to deny Aba. Biswas Udas also cleared Soujan Rai’s headed attempt on the rebound. 

Laxman Ruchal cut the deficit in the third minute of five minutes off stoppage time with a stunning freekick from the edge of the box. They could have walked away with a point in the dying moments but Suraj Gurung ended up firing inches wide from close range.                

 

Today’s Fixtures

MMC vs Friends (1400 NST, Satdobato)

NRT vs Brigade (1400 NST, Halchowk)    

Published: 08-01-2019 07:30

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