NRT's winning run continues; army flop


KATHMANDU, March 2: New Road Team (NRT) continued with their cent percent record as they defeated Boys Union Club 3-2 on Tuesday while the title contenders Nepal Army Club received a major setback as they were forced a 1-0 defeat at the hands of low rated NIBL Friends Club, who opened their account in the points table of the domestic A division football league being held at the Dasharath Stadium.

With the win, NRT moved onto the top of the table with nine points from three matches played coming ahead of army who have occupied the second place. Friends have climbed to the ninth position with the win while Boys Union are at the bottom of the table with no points.

Subash Rai, Sayan Mosavi and Ranjit Shrestha scored for NRT while Raju Rai and Subin Ghimire netted one each for Boys Union.

Raju gave an early lead to Boys Union in the 15th minute. Raju made a spectacular strike from about 25 yards in his solo effort. NRT had to wait until the second half to level the scoring as the remaining first-half remained goalless.

Subash canceled the lead in the 54th minute through a header in a cross supplied by Nabin Neupane while Danish striker for NRT Sayan doubled the advantage seven minutes later. Beating offside trap in a pass supplied by Sagar Thapa, Sayan scored a spectacular goal after beating goalie Binay Shrestha.

Ranjit Shrestha scored the last goal for NRT through penalty in the 63rd minute after Sayan was taken down by Bishnu Sunuwar in the box.

With an attempt to bounce back Subin, 72nd minute replacement of Sanjeev Tamang, scored three minutes after his entry from outside the box taking the ball away from an NRT defender.

Despite collecting full points, NRT coach Diken Suwal was dissatisfied with the team´s performance. “NRT failed to play with their full effort and came under pressure after conceding the early goal,” Suwal said.

On goals conceded by his side Suwal commented that the goalie was out of position on both the occasions. NRT were without their regular goalie Surendra Shrestha as he was unable to play due to smallpox.

Boys Union captain Bikram Maharjan said that the penalty awarded to NRT was unnecessary. “Hadn´t they been awarded penalty, the whole match would have turned,” Bikaram said.

In another match, a solo goal from Azad Pradhan gave Friends their first victory in a hard-fought match over army. Azad scored from a header in the 12th minute in a freekick of Dipak Bhusal.

The army could not make any impressive post attempts despite getting a few attractive chances of scoring. The army team lacked coordination despite dominating ball possession.

In the 35th minute, Bishwa Bairag Samal failed to hit the ball toward the target from close range in a free position as his shot went wide. Likewise, Bed Narayan Chaudhary´s strike for army from a similar position skied above the bar during the latter part of the second-half.

Army coach Raju Kaji Shakya said that his side played randomly and failed to utilize goal-scoring opportunities. “There was lack of coordination among the players and some of my players were ill,” Shakya said.

Happy with the win, Friends coach Mrigendra Mishra said that they were hungry for win and finally clinched it. “We were successful in stopping army´s crosses and our strategy became successful today,” Mishra said.

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