MMC, Three Star labour to opening wins

Source: Himalayan News Service

23 Feb 2010, KATHMANDU: Two of the title favourites, Nabil Three Star Club and Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) registered labourious wins in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division Football League here today.

A 74th minute goal from Jocelyn Morgan Pierce gave Three Star a 1-0 win over Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) while MMC, bolstered by four South Korean players in their team, also struggled to a 1-0 win over Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club thanks to Ganesh Khadka's 63rd minute decider.

Three Star were lucky to have found the back of the net through Pierce's goal-line finish following a cross from Vijay Gurung. Three Star struggled after 30 minutes allowing RCT make numerous threatening moves. RCT coach Madhu Karki rued the missed chances.

RCT were denied a goal when Three Star custodian Kiran Chemjong punched a powerful shot from Rishi Rai for a corner. RCT were also unlucky as Santosh Gurung's free kick rebounded off the bar in the 47th minute. And four minutes later Deepak Rai cut through five Three Star players and fed the ball to Rishi only for the RCT striker to apply a weak shot.

Three Star coach Bal Gopal Maharjan accepted the match was a tough one. "We hastened for shots but they were holding the ball pretty nicely," he said. Maharjan said his side is yet to be set and hinted at trying new players in coming matches.

Earlier, Ganesh struck a winner for MMC midway in the second half taking advantage of a weak clearance from a Sankata defender. Sankata's Bangladeshi U-19 glovesman Nurul Karim superbly denied a long range shot from Jagjeet Shrestha but the ball fell in front of Ganesh, who slotted home.

Sankata were also boosted by the presence of another Bangladeshi U-19 player Md Asif Hussain but the midfielder made hardly any impression. In the 11th minute, unmarked Santosh Shrestha met a corner from skipper Kailash Dangol but his weak shot was easily parried by MMC goalie Bishal Shrestha. MMC were also unlucky early in the first half when referee Sudish Pandey spotted Korean Kim Sun Do handling the ball before the striker scored the goal.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung said the Korean players will fit in the team as the league progresses. "They play well but they are not accustomed with the playing conditions here. I am confident they will impress as the league wears on," he said.

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