RCT, NRT draw in dramatic show


KATHMANDU, March 4: The last three minutes of the match between Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) and New Road Team (NRT) on Thursday was some of the most dramatic in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League Football Tournament.

NRT, close to defeat after conceding a goal in the 64th minute, made a dramatic comeback in the 88th minute and added another a minute later to take the lead. But the resolute RCT netted in the last minute to share a point each.

With the draw, NRT continued with their unbeaten streak and came atop the standing with 10 points from four matches played while RCT had to remain content in the sixth place playing equal matches accumulating five points.

Earlier, a solitary goal from Nepal Police Club striker Chetan Ghimire helped them beat Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club 1-0 in a drab affair. Playing four matches, the police have added eight points in their kitty to move to the third place with two wins and two draws.

Dipak Rai gave a second-half lead to RCT in the 64th minute in the fast match against NRT. Rai made a quick and skillful left footed shot in his solo effort from the inner edge of the box in a tight angle to open their scoring.

Subash Rai of NRT leveled the scoring two minutes before regular time to turn the match against RCT who were close to victory. Rai scored from close range utilizing a feeble shot struck by Umesh Upreti.

Similarly, they doubled the advantage one minute later through man-of-the-match adjudged Danish player Sayan Mosavi. Mosavi scored from the box out of a scuffle controlling the ball with his chest and slotting the ball past the custodian.

RCT made few moves as compared to NRT but were able to utilize them. NRT had created a couple of good moves in the first half but could not convert them.

But the last minute brilliant goal from Yogesh Gurung for RCT helped them share a point each. Gurung made a spectacular shot from the edge of the box taking advantage of a defensive error of the opponents.

NRT coach Diken Suwal remained satisfied with the results. “Had the team played as that of the second half in the first, we could have won it,” Suwal said. He also pointed at the weak performance of his midfielders and goalie.

RCT coach Madhu Karki said that there was lack of coordination between the forwards of his side. He was dubious regarding the first goal they conceded, claiming it as an offside goal.

Earlier, NPC´s Chetan scored the only goal in the injury time of the first half to give the team victory over Sankata. Chetan tapped in a freekick of Parbat Pandey from the box to become the highest scorer of the ongoing league along with Mosavi with three goals each.

Police kept the match under their control in terms of ball possession but were unable to add other goals. Police squandered about four scoring opportunities. Meanwhile, Sankata could make only one impressive post attempt. Nirajan Malla´s strike from the edge of the box was taken by goalie.

Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha attributed injury of key players like Rai, Ghimire and skipper Rakesh Shrestha to the poor performance of the team. “The team lacked confidence due to injuries of players and there was also poor ball supply from defenders,” Shrestha said.

Police skipper Shrestha and NRT´s Mosavi will miss their upcoming match as they were received second yellow cards in the league. The two teams will meet each other on Monday.

Sankata coach Chet Narayan Shrestha said that his side was unable to match the stamina of the police. “The midfield could not perform well due to the absence of skipper Kailash Dangol,” said Shrestha. Dangol was unable to play after he was booked with a second yellow card in their previous match.

There will be a break in the league on Friday.

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