Sahukhala rescues Three Star



KATHMANDU, Mar 10: Santosh Sahukhala scored a goal in the last minute for Nabil Three Star Club (TSC) to rescue a point as they held Nepal Army Club to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Meawhile, Boys Union Club valiantly played a goalless draw with leaders Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi (MMC) Club in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League Football Tournament at the Dasharath Stadium.

After the completion of the fifth match in round one, the Army with two wins and a draw are in sixth position while Three Star are two spots behind them with five points from a win and two draws. MMC, however, are on top with 13 points with four wins and a draw.

Sahukhala scored one minute before the end to deny the army from earning full points. Army had taken a lead in the 60th minute through Hari Mahato´s goal.

Mahato brilliantly made a powerful one-touch strike from the box for the Army in a pass set by debutant Hiranya Magar to take the lead in the match dominated by the Army in the first half.

Three Star bounced back during the later part of the second half and gave consistent pressure to the Army before scoring in the 89th minute to draw the match. Sahukhala scored from the box through a powerful shot after Army´s Bishwa Bairag Samal failed to clear the ball from the danger zone.

The Army made frequent moves, but were unable to convert them. During the stoppage time, Bikarna Shrestha of the Army missed a one-versus-one chance with Three Star custodian Kiran Chemjong. Chemjong also made spectacular saves in the 47th minute off Mahato and 51st minute off Shrestha.

Man-of-the-match Army custodian and captain Bikash Malla remained the main obstacle in the way of Three Star as he made some heroic saves.

Three Star´s French midfielder Jocelyn Morgan´s powerful shot from about 25 yards was brilliantly saved by Malla. Three Star were unlucky in the 13th minute as Anjan KC´s freekick hit the crossbar. In the 70th minute, Surendra Tamang´s header in a cross of Anjan KC skied above the bar.

Army´s coach Raju Kaji Shakya said his side failed to utilize opportunities and luck also did not favor them. He lamented that his side failed to hold their lead.

Three Star coach Bal Gopal Maharjan commented that about half a dozen of his players were injured and were unable to fulfill their aim of winning the match as the strikers failed to utilize opportunities. He also accused the referee of not being fair.

Earlier, Boys Union played their second match under their new coach Kumar Katwal. Boys Union ended MMC´s winning streak by holding them to a goalless draw. MMC had come up with three Koreans in the squad.

Boys Union controlled the match from the beginning and made some attractive moves. MMC could not make a single attack in the first half.

In the 23rd minute, MMC skipper Tashi Tsering cleared the ball headed by Shuvam Shrestha out of a deflection off Tanka Basnet´s freekick. In the 51st minute, MMC custodian Bishal Shrestha blocked Sanjiv Tamang´s powerful shot and Raju Rai´s strike on the rebound skied above the bar. Likewise, Shekhar Limbu and Subin Ghimire´s strikes too could not materialize into goals.

Lee Jihoon failed to direct a ball toward the net from a good position in a pass set by Ganesh Khadka.

Satisfied with the performance, Boys Union coach Katwal said they failed to convert as the strikers became overexcited and hurried after getting the ball. “In terms of show, we won the match,” Katwal added.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang said such results were possible in the league. “However, the quality of the game was low today,” Lopsang said.

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