Army's impressive run continues


KATHMANDU, April 19: Nepal Army Club (NAC) climbed to third position defeating first leg winners New Road Team (NRT) 2-0 in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League Football Tournament at the Dasharath Stadium on Monday.

In another match, Dipen Shrestha scored a stoppage time goal to help Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club beat relegation threatened Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club 1-0.

Following the results, Army progressed one step to third position with 28 points and level on points with second place holders Three Star who have a match advantage over the former. NRT slipped one step to fourth position with equal 28 points on the basis of goal difference.

Similarly, Jawalakhel moved to eighth position with 20 points while Sankata are second from the bottom with seven points, five points behind Armed Police Force who are above the relegation zone.

Goals in either half from Bishwa Bairag Samal and Amrit Basnet sealed Army´s victory. Army have maintained their winning streak in all four matches of the second leg. They had lost 1-0 to NRT in the first leg. Jawalakhel have collected four points from as many matches played in the second leg.

Samal opened the scoring for Army in the 30th minute through a superb header in a corner of Shiva Chaudhary. Likewise, Basnet doubled the lead through a header in the 74th minute in a long cross of Chaudhary to score his fifth league goal. Both the goals were from close range.

Jeevan Sinkeman of NRT missed two scoring opportunities and Laxman Ruchal´s strike went inches above the bar.

Delighted with the victory, Army coach Raju Kaji Shakya said his side moved forward in the title race. Commenting on his side´s performance, Shakya said, “The performance was not good, but the result came in our favor.”

NRT coach Diken Suwal said the players were exhausted after playing continuous matches. The goalkeeper also seemed to be weak, Suwal added.

In another match, Jawalakhel secured win in stoppage time against Sankata in the match that was about to end in a goalless draw. Shrestha scored the decider from close range in goalie Suman Legal´s rebounder hit by skipper Raj Kumar Ghising while the fallen goalie in an attempt to save the ball was still to recover from the ground.

The first half of the match remained competitive, but both the sides failed to make a single post attack. But Jawalakhel came up with improved performance in the second half and put up consistence pressure.

They created frequent attractive moves but poor finishing cost them dearly as they squandered more than half a dozen goal scoring chances. Scorer Shrestha failed to convert as much as six chances while his brother Yogesh missed a couple of chances.

Sankata, on the other hand, failed to make other than one attractive move in the entire match. In the 86th minute, Nirajan Malla failed to give proper finishing in the box to a pass supplied by Santosh Shrestha.

Jawalakhel coach Suman Yonzan said they secured a vital win to pull the team out from relegation threat. “Now we don´t have relegation threat and our target now will be to win all upcoming matches. For that we have brought two players from Uganda. We are waiting for their ITC´s and they might play in the upcoming match,” Yonzan said.

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