Police reach top; Machhindra hold MMC


KATHMANDU, March 17: Defending champions Nepal Police Club (NPC) climbed to the top of the table defeating Armed Police Force (APF) 2-0 on Wednesday after leaders Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshynagdi Club shared points with Machhindra Club playing a 1-1 draw.

Police continued with their unbeaten run until the eighth match after a freekick from Parbat Pandey in the first half and a penalty from Jumanu Rai six minutes before the end gave the police victory over the other departmental team, APF.

In another match, high-flying Machhindra had to pay for an own goal as defender Bikram Limbu´s bid to clear the ball handed a 1-0 lead to MMC in the first half. They had to wait until the beginning of the second half to level the match with Karna Limbu pulling back the equalizer to snatch a point.

Police, who lagged behind MMC by a point prior to the matches, topped MMC by a point following their win and MMC´s draw. The police have added 18 points and MMC in second position have collected 17 points from the equal eight matches played.

Machhindra with their fifth draw in the league progressed one step ahead to sixth position while APF remained constant in ninth place.

Police midfielder Pandey hit a superb freekick in the 25th minute from near the center line to stun APF goalie Chandan Sardar, sending the ball in the second bar for their first goal. Likewise, Rai easily converted a penalty in the dying moments after APF skipper Dhan Bir Chaudhary stumbled Ramesh Katuwal in the danger zone.

APF came up with improved showing compared to their previous outings and created equal chances as that of the police but were unlucky in finding the back of the net.

Top Bahadur Bista´s powerful shot for APF during the last minute of the match deflected, hitting the bar. During the first half, police custodian Ritesh Thapa punched attractively twice to deny APF´s Niraj Shrestha and Ganesh Lawati´s shots.

After the win police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha commented that being the defending champions his side were under more pressure than any other team of the league.

“The police are under pressure to save their prestige by defending the title,” he said. He expressed satisfaction toward the team´s performance, saying it as on the make.

Earlier, in the first match, Machhindra defender Limbu´s attempt to clear a cross by Korean midfielder Kim Nam Gyu in the box took a direction toward their own post after the ball flicked his leg to hand MMC a 1-0 lead.

However, striker Limbu canceled MMC´s lead in the first minute of the second half as he scored easily beating goalie Bishal Shrestha from the box in a pass supplied by Bishal Rai.

Machhindra dominated the match and created as many as half a dozen attacks. MMC were unable to beat the stubborn Machhindra defense line up that consisted of national defender Rohit Chand, Badal Ghising and Ram Saran Magar.

In the 38th minute, Bishnu KC´s volley in a pass by Machhindra´s Brazilian striker Dineal Sores Neves skied above the bar. Likewise, striker Limbu missed three clear chances of scoring in the second half.

Machhindra assistant coach Narottam Shakya said that luck did not favor them. “Despite exerting consistent pressure and creating attractive moves we failed in the scoring,” Shakya added.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang said his side could not play well due to injuries of players and lack of post attempts.

Thursday´s matches
Friends Club Vs Three Star
NRT Vs Army

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