Friends beat BUC; Army, Machhindra share point


KATHMANDU, March 24: NIBL Friends Club defeated Boys Union Club (BUC) 2-1 on Thursday to retain the fifth position while Machhindra Club played sixth draw of the tournament to share point with Nepal Army Club 1-1 in the ongoing Martyrs Memorial A Division League Football being held at the Dasharath Stadium.

Bharat Khawas and Nirajan Khadka scored one each for Friends while Sudip Limbu scored the only goal for Boys Union. Following the victory, Friends have added 15 points from nine matches played with five wins while Boys Union remained at the bottom of the table with five points from equal matches.

Earlier, Machhindra took an early lead through Mozambique striker Eze Collins but army levelled the scoring in the second half through Santosh Nepali. Both the teams -- army and Machhindra -- held the sixth and seventh positions respectively with 12 points apiece. However, army with plus three goals lead is ahead of Machhindra that has plus two goals in their accounts.

In the first match, debutant Collins netted for Machhindra in the 12th minute through a brilliant strike from outside the box to stun army goalie and skipper Bikash Malla during the match held at midday. However, Nepali of army scored in the 52nd minute through a spectacular diving header in a freekick of Raju Tamang.

Army coach Raju Kaji Shakya once again lamented towards striker´s performance. “The strikers failed to utilize chances,” Shakya said. Machhindra coach Dhruba KC said that his side could not put up an impressive show as some of his key players were injured. “Midfielder Rupesh KC too failed to play up to my expectations,” KC said.

All the goals in another match between Friends and relegation threatened Boys Union were made in the second half. Khawas opened the scoring for Friends in the 59th minute through penalty after he was pulled down by Boys Union defender Bishnu Sunwar in the box. Boys Union made a comeback three minutes later through Limbu to level the scoring. Limbu headed home in a corner of Sanjiv Tamang.

However, Khadka of Friends scored the winner four minutes from time through a brilliant strike from box capitalizing on a pass of Buddha Chemjong that he received from a corner.

Earlier, Boys Union pressurized the first-half but were unable to find the back of net despite regular post attacks while the winner friends were unable to create a single attractive move in the same period. Rupesh Chhetri´s header from the box for Boys Union in the 20th minute went wide. Six minute later defender Sunwar´s shot was brilliantly saved by Friends goalie Rupak Shrestha and in the 31st minute too he denied scorer Limbu´s strike attractively.

Friends coach Mrigendra Mishra attributed that his side failed to play up to their potential in the first-half. “I am satisfied with the full points we gained but not with the team´s first half performance,” Mishra said.

Boys Union coach Kumar Katuwal said that penalty offered to the opponents was the main cause for their loss. “There were too many missed passes and lack of accuracy,” Katwal said commenting on his side´s performance.

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