Korean striker for MMC Lee Jihoon made a quick powerful attempt from the edge of the box to score the decider in a short cross of Kim Sun Do in the 57th minute to add misery to star-studded Three Star who are going through a bad time in the ongoing league.
After the completion of the fourth match of round one, MMC occupy the top spot with 12 points winning all matches played while Three Star are in eighth position with one win and draw each and two losses. Army have added six points with two wins and losses each. APF are in ninth spot with two losses, one win and a draw.
Three Star dominated the entire match from the beginning in terms of goal possession and created frequent good chances but were unable to find the back of the net. On the other hand, MMC created a single chance and were able to capitalize on it to make their league dream strong.
“The boys played well as compared to their previous performance,” said Bal Gopal Maharjan, Three Star coach. “We got as many as five scoring opportunities in the first half but failed to convert them. Had we been able to utilize the first chance the whole match would have turned the tables in our favor,” Maharjan added.
Bijay Gurung and Surendra Tamang of Three Star each squandered two chances in the first half while skipper Pradeep Maharjan and Santosh Sahukhala were unable to score from good positions in the second half. Likewise, Three Star had two goals ruled as offside by the referee.
MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang, pleased with the win, said, “To beat Three Star studded with national players is an achievement for the team.”
He vented ire on the referee´s decision citing some of the decisions as unfair. "The referee let off senior players while they committed foul, but he punished junior players for the same offense by junior players," Lopsang blamed.
Earlier in the first match, an own goal from army defender Chun Bahadur Thapa cost them dear as they suffered a second consecutive loss against another departmental team APF, who came up with an improved performance as compared to their previous outings.
In a bid to clear the ball from the danger zone in the 47th minute, Thapa had unsuccessfully attempted to send the ball out which entered the net from over goalie Bikash Malla´s head who was moving forward to collect it . On the occasion, APF striker Tanka Lama was chasing the ball.
The second goal came from Ganesh Lawati in the 70th minute. Lawati dribbled past two army defenders and beat goalie Malla to double the advantage. Santosh Nepali pulled one back for the army through a powerful strike from the edge of the box in a pass supplied by Shiva Chaudhary.
APF debutant goalie Sabin Regmi made some heroic saves to deny the army.
Army coach Raju Kaji Shakya said that the own goal from Thapa was the reason for the loss. “Besides this, the players too did not play as briefed to them,” Shakya added.
APF coach Maheshwar Mulmi said that the team ´setting´ was going on and was set better than in their previous match.
Three Koreans injured
The high flying Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) received a major setback in their title dream as three out of five Korean players sustained injuries during their match against Three Star Club.
Among those injured, Kim Sun Do got his leg broken, according to MMC President Tashi Ghale. His leg was plastered at the B and B Hospital the same day.
Lee Jihoon, the decisive goal scorer in their vital match against Three Star and Oh Such Hanw also sustained minor injuries. The detail about Jihoon´s injury will be known after further checkup on Monday.
Such Hanw has swelling in his thigh but he may return in the next match, Ghale said.
Ghale also expressed dissatisfaction toward the league management of ANFA, the organizing body. “There is no provision of ambulance to pick injured player from the ground. The referee too did not care about bad tackling of Three Star players. The security provision is also very weak,” Ghale said.
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Venue: Dasharath Stadium