RCT hold Police to draw; Sankata register first win


SOURCE: REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, March 1: Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club registered their first victory in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel ´A´ Division League Football on Monday while Nepal Police Club (NPC) played yet another draw.

Sankata defeated Samsung Jawalakhel Club 2-1 while Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) held NPC to a 1-1 draw in the matches played at the Dasharath Stadium.

In the first match of the day, RCT took the lead in the 23rd minute of the match. Uttam Gurung´s shot entered the net as it got deflected from the body of NPC´s defender Jitendra Singh Bista. Yogesh Gurung had fed the ball to Uttam.

NPC, then, played an attacking football while RCT tried to maintain their lead. A header from NPC´s Bhola Silwal went wide in a superb cross from Chetan Ghimire in the 35th minute.

NPC´s striker Jumanu Rai scored in the injury time of the first half through a freekick but referee Laba Khatri ruled it out since Rai had struck before the referee´s whistle. Khatri booked Rai for the offense.

RCT adopted a defensive strategy in the second half while NPC made a few good moves. Roshan Karki´s 53rd minute power shot could not get the right direction while Chetan could not score in an almost open net in the 78th minute. Chetan could not reach the ball in a cross from Jumanu.

Police leveled the match in the first minute of the injury time. RCT goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri saved a shot from policeman Robin Shrestha. However, Parbat Pande scored in the rebound and leveled the match.

RCT coach Madhu Karki lamented that they lost because they played defensive football after the lead. "We were in a position to win all three points but we went wrong," said Karki. "However, I´m happy to play a draw against good rivals," added Karki.

NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha was unhappy with his players´ slow moves in the first half. "Boys played a ´wait and watch game´ in the first half," complained Shrestha. He said NPC were not fully prepared because of injury problems.

In the second match of the day, Sankata beat Jawalakhel 2-1 and gained their first three points in the league.

Sankata took an early lead in the match when Santosh Shrestha scored Sankata´s first goal of the season in the fourth minute.

Jawalakhel made a good move in the 12th minute of the match but referee Rajesh Shrestha whistled for a foul before Dipen Shrestha netted the ball.

Sankata stunned Jawalakhel again in the 18th minute through a goal from Sujal Shrestha. Striker Nirajan Malla provided a back pass to Sankata´s Bangladeshi midfielder Mohammad Assif Hussain and Hussain supplied a long range pass to Sujal in the box. Sujal scored the goal in the first bar through a header.

Jawalakhel tried for a comeback in the second half but Raj Poudyal missed at least three chances. In the meantime, Sankata´s Bangladeshi goalkeeper Mohammad Nurul Karim saved shots from Raj Kumar Ghising and Yogesh Shrestha in the 67th and 68th minutes.

However, Sunil Raut scored in the 84th minute for Jawalakhel and narrowed down Sankata´s lead.

Sankata faced a blow in the 88th minute. Their goalkeeper Nurul had to leave the field after he collided with Dipen. Nurul was rushed to hospital and defender Salyan Khadgi had to put on gloves as Sankata had completed all three substitutions.

However, Sankata held on to their lead in the 7-minute injury time and sealed the victory.

Jawalakhel coach Suman Yonjan said his team could not perform after they conceded early goals while Sankata coach Chet Narayan Shrestha expressed dissatisfaction with his players´ performance.

´Though we registered the first victory in the league, I have to say that our boys performed only 50 percent of their caliber," said Shrestha.

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