Police, Army triumph on first day


KATHMANDU, Feb 20: Nepal Police Club (NPC) and Army Club opened the Martyrs Memorial A-Division League on a winning note on Saturday. NPC thrashed Boys Union Club (BUC) 3-0, while the Army hammered Jawalakhel Youth Club (JYC) 4-1 at the Dasharath Stadium on the first day of the league that commenced after a three-year hiatus.

Goals from Jumanu Rai, Bhola Silwal and an own goal from BUC helped NPC take the lead with three points. The Army are also on par with NPC. Bikarna Shrestha´s brace and a goal each from Santosh Nepali and Ram Kumar Biswas helped the Army win the match against JYC.

In the first match, NPC took the lead in the 26th minute from Jumanu Rai´s goal from the box set by Rabin Shrestha. The only other good attempt in the first half was a powerful shot by Shekhar Limbu which NPC custodian Ritesh Thapa blocked.

NPC added another goal in the early minutes of the second half. As Jumanu dribbled the ball past BUC´s defenders, Pale Khadka´s attempt to clear the ball landed in his own net in the 51st minute. Bhola Silwal of NPC sealed the match with a one-versus-one goal in the 75th minute.

NPC´s coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said he was satisfied with the result but not with the team´s performance. “I´m glad that we won although our players were injured,” he said.

Meanwhile, BUC´s captain Sagar Ghimire said that they lost by a wide margin because of the referee´s wrong decision. “The first and second goals were offside but the referee didn´t make the right judgment,” he said.

In the second match of the day, the Army were able to keep the JYC under pressure despite a good show by the latter. Bikarna Shrestha volleyed the ball into the net from the box in a cross set by Mahendra Khawas to give the Army the lead in the 27th minute. Santosh Nepali doubled the lead two minutes later as he slammed the ball from the left side just outside the box.

Bikarna scored the third goal for the Army in the early minutes of the second half. Bikarna´s header set by substitute player Hiranya Magar hit the bar and entered the net in the 49th minute. The Army´s victory looked evident as Ram Kumar Biswas converted Hiranya´s free-kick in the 56th minute.

After conceding four goals, JYC tried to make a come back with some improved performance. Yogesh Shrestha netted the ball in Raj Kumar Ghising´s pass two minutes later. But JYC were not able to score any other goal after that.

Army´s coach Raju Shakya expressed satisfaction over his team´s performance but said that the opponents played well in the match. JYC´s assistant coach Rajaram Karki said their key players were injured and exhausted because of too many matches in the last month. “We lost despite playing well,” he said.

ANFA has said there will be no league match on Sunday and Monday due to general strike.

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