Police shatter MMC dream; Three Star move up



KATHMANDU, March 20: Nepal Police Club (NPC) retained their top position in the ongoing Martyrs Memorial San Miguel ´A´ Division Football League as they thrashed Laxmi Hundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) 1-0 at the Dasharath Stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Nabil Three Star Club (NTSC) leapfrogged to second position of the table after defeating Armed Police Force (APF) 2-0 in the first match of the day.

NPC have 21 points from nine games and top position while NTSC are four points behind. New Road Team (NRT) are in third position with 17 points from eight games while MMC are in fourth position.

NPC claimed victory after Bhola Silwal scored the sole goal of the match in the 30th minute. Bhola scored with a superb volley off Parvat Pandey´s free kick.

Both the teams created few chances early in the match. MMC goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha saved Parbat Pandey´s free kick while MMC´s Jagjit Shrestha missed a chance of scoring in Amar Pun´s cross.

MMC tried to create a wave after conceding the goal but NPC managed to handle the pressure. MMC´s Korean player Kim Sun Do failed to utilize an open net chance in the 34th minute of the match.

In the second half, NPC created regular pressure over MMC. However, striker Jumanu Rai and Chetan Ghimire missed opportunities. Rai misfired in the open net in a cross from Ghimire in the 60th minute.

Ghimire missed another chance in the 73rd minute. Rai and Pandey were booked during the match, which cost NPC dearly. They will miss NPC´s draw against NTSC in the next match as they are booked twice during the course of tournament.

Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha was happy about the win but claimed that MMC played better than what was expected of them. “They threw us a challenge after we scored the goal,” said Shrestha.

Earlier in the day, NTSC beat APF riding on the goals of Santosh Sahukhala and Castory Mumbara on either side of the break. Sahukhala scored in the 27th minute of the match in a rebound after APF custodian Chandan Sardar punched Anjan KC´s free kick. This was the ninth goal of the striker in the league of which he is the topscorer.

Mumbara also made use of a rebound in the 82nd minute after Sardar blocked Sahukhala´s shot.

However, Three Star could not celebrate the goal for long as referee Shrawan Lama booked Mumbara for his celebration as the NTSC playmaker from Tanzania celebrated with his face covered by his jersey. Mumbara will miss the match against NPC since he was booked twice in the league.

APF coach Maheshwar Mulmi said he was satisfied with the team´s performance though they lost the match. "We conceded the first goal due to the goalkeeper´s mistake and Mumbara utilized the chance in the second. Team lacks supporting players to our striker Ganesh Lawati. Therefore, I´m satisfied with the performance,” Mulmi said.

Three Star´s coach Bal Gopal Maharjan was delighted by the victory. "We are on a winning streak and we want to maintain it,” said the delighted coach.

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