NRT beat departmental team Armed Police Force (APF) 1-0 while Machhindra eased past NIBL Friends Club 3-1 during the matches held at Dasharath Stadium,
Nirajan Rayamajhi scored the only goal of the match in the 37th minute to give a blissful start to NRT. Nirajan scored in a back pass supplied by Ranjit Shrestha while APF goalie Chandan Sardar had bent down to save the goal from Ranjit who was just in front of him.
Both APF and NRT could only make a couple of impressive post attacks but APF were unable to find the back of the net.
AFP coach Maheshwar Mulmi lamented of not having good scorers. “We lack good scorers in the team and two of my players are unable to play due to illness,” Mulmi said.
APF skipper Kumar Thapa´s 25-yard shot in the 40th minute was marvelously saved by NRT goalie and captain Surendra Shrestha. Likewise, Top Bahadur Bista´s strike during the dying moments of the first half was punched to safety by Surendra that after Bista had collected the ball out of a missed pass from NRT defender Sagar Thapa.
Ranjit Shrestha of the winning side won the man-of-the-match award.
Despite the win, NRT coach Diken Suwal remained dissatisfied with the team´s performance. “They could not play up to my expectations. However, this is the first league match.” Suwal said. He also stressed the need for team-setting. “The team is not well set due to short preparation time and lack of ground for practice,” Suwal explained.
In another match, Bishnu KC made a quick attempt from the box in a cross supplied by Amir Shrestha to give an early lead to Machhindra in the 16th minute.
Friends, in an attempt to bounce back in the match, leveled the scoring in the 62nd minute. Deepak Bhusal made a powerful strike from about 30 yards to light hope for the team.
But they were unable to hold on to the lead for long as Rupesh KC doubled the advantage in the 75th minute through penalty after Friends skipper Nur Raj Kafle took down Karna Limbu in the danger zone. Nur Raj was slapped with a yellow card.
Similarly, man-of-the-match Karna killed the match in the 80th minute through a header from the box in a cross supplied by Rupesh.
Satisfied with the team´s victory, Machhindra coach Narottam Shakya said that the team perfectly played as per his expectation and lesson in training. “The team brilliantly utilized opportunities and our defense-line was tight as well,” Shakya said.
Friends coach Mrigendra Mishra said that his players were unfit in the match as five of them had participated in the recently held National Games organized by PLA Sports Club. “Despite this, the team too failed to utilize opportunities,” Mishra added.