Police secure draw, RCT win


KATHMANDU, Feb 25: The last gasp brace from Chetan Ghimire earned title holders Nepal Police Club (NPC) a dramatic 2-2 draw over Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club on Thursday in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel ´A´ Division League Football Tournament while Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) recorded their first 2-0 win over Boys Union Club.

Chetan, who made first appearance in the league, headed the equalizer in the second minute of the stoppage time before he opened the scoring for police two minutes ahead of the regular time through header as well. Chetan headed the equalizer from box in a cross supplied by Jumanu Rai and netted the first in a pass set by Rabin Shrestha.

With the win police added four points from two matches to climb on the top while Jawalakhel opened account with a point in the point table.

Jawalakhel, tagged as the weaker team took an early lead in the 19th minute through Sachindra Dhimal who made a beautiful header in a corner of Krishna Malakar. They doubled the advantage in the 79th minute when Jaghu Nath Khadka, who had substituted Krishna three minutes before, made a powerful strike from about 25 yards to pile up more pressure on the title holders.

Despite conceding the last moment goals, Jawalakhel coach Suman Yonzon who had looked after the team from last two days remained satisfied with the results. “Our mission was to hold the police in draw and we succeeded in it. However, we were close to victory,” Yonzan said, who labeled police as a strong team. He pointed out fitness problem as his team´s setback.

Jawalakhel were bound to share points after they failed during the last moment. Police squandered as many as four chances in the first half and in second half. Jumanu squandered a one-versus-one chance with Jawalakhel goalie Min Basnet in the 63rd minute.

Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha, however, refused to admit that Jawalakhel displayed good footballing. “Jawalakhel did not play good but we played bad. We came under pressure after we failed to utilize opportunities.”

In another match, Dipak Rai and UKFC player of India Amir Lama scored one each for RCT to help them secure first league win. With the win they opened their account and climbed in the fourth spot with three points. Boys Union is yet to open their account in the points table.

Dipak scored in the 29th minute from box in a pass supplied by Prabesh Katuwal who chipped. Prabesh had chipped in opponent defender to set the pass. Likewise, Amir doubled the advantage in the 87th minute utilizing a pass from Dipak.

Earlier, Dipak had missed a penalty in the 70th minute when Boys Union Bishnu Sunwar committed hand in the box.

The RCT had come up with tow Indian players, including Amir Lama, who entered the field in the 62nd minute as a replacement for Rishi Rai.

RCT coach Madhu Karki said that the team failed to perform up to his expectations. “The team could not play up to their strength as they considered the opponent weak,” Karki said. He also lauded the opponents´ performance in the second-half.

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