NPC move up, Machhindra hold NRT


Kathmandu, March 11: Nepal Police Club (NPC) enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the table with a 3-0 rout of NIB Friends, while New Road Team and Machhindra Club shared a point each from their goalless draw in the early match of the day in the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division on Thursday.

After a goalless first half between NPC and Friends, Ju Manu Rai gave NPC a deserved lead on the hour’s mark scoring from inside the penalty box. Chetan Ghimire added another six minutes later, before Bhola Silwal sealed the win eight minutes from time. NPC moved to the of the standing with 14 points, one ahead of second place Manang Marshyangdi Club, who have a game in hand. Friends, meanwhile, are fifth with nine points.

Machhindra also moved one place up to fourth, collecting nine points from five games, while NRT’s remained anchored to third with 11 points.

NPC, who were missing their first choice keeper Ritesh Thapa on two yellow cards, had plenty of doubts about their stand-in keeper Bishal Shrestha but skipper Rakesh Shrestha, who was suspended in the previous match after two cautions, was eligible for play to give the stand-in keeper a sigh of relief.

In early match of the day, Machhindra once again pulled off a satisfying performance holding third placed NRT to a goalless draw. NRT had a threatening lineup with the arrival of Sayan Mosavi, who was back after missing a match following two yellows, but little did they know that Machhindra’s core defender Rohit Chand would be a menace for Mosavi, denying him any space to pull out one from his bag of tricks.

Machhindra also had goalie Binod Dangol — back in the squad after missing the previous game due a red card - to thank for the draw.

Jiwan Sinkeman had the first chance of the day for NRT when his header from close range off a pass from Nabin Neupane was blocked by Dangol. At the other end, Naresh K.C. missed a simple tap-in from Bishnu K.C.’s pass.

Mosavi’s volley from the six-yard box was denied by Dangol 18 minutes into the second half before Ram Sharan Magar bravely tackled goal-bound Subash Rai in the second half.

Machhindra coach Dhurba K.C. was happy to share a point with a strong team like NRT, while Diken Suwal was left ruing the missed opportunities for his team’s failure to secure all three points.

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