KATHMANDU, April 15: Nabil Three Star Club strengthened their title hopes on Thursday as they moved to the second spot with an impressive 4-1 victory over Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club after the second place New Road Team received a shocking 1-0 defeat at the hands of Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club in the ongoing Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League at the Dasharath Stadium.
Following the results, Three Star advanced progressed one-step to second pushing behind NRT with equal 28 points to second spot on the basis of goal difference. Leaders police with a match advantage top the table with 29 points.
Jawalakhel remained unchanged in the ninth spot with 17 points while Sankata are second from the bottom with seven points, 10 points away from relegation touchline.
Three Star took an early lead in the second minute through French midfielder Joclyn Morgan. Unmarked Morgan easily scored from close range in a pass of Tanzanian midfielder Castory D Mumbara.
Similarly, Bijay Gurung, who scored twice, doubled the lead in the 14th minutes in a brilliant pass set by debutant Tanzanian striker Noel Crishopher. Gurung was lucky to score third for the team in 83rd minute as the ball changed direction after it hit opponent defender Kovid Karki to enter net.
Substitute Surendra Tamang sealed the victory for Three Star three minutes from time in a pass set be leading scorer Santosh Sahukhala.
Nirajan Malla has scored the consolation goal for Sankata in the 26th minute.
Satisfied with the results Three Star coach Bal Gopal Mahrjan said that they came under pressure in the second half. “Our level of confident is rising up and we are hopeful to win the title,” Maharjan said.
In another match, Jawalakhel stunned the title contender NRT after a lone goal by Suraj Gurung in the 60th minute sealed the victory. Gurung scored from box as NRT defender Biraj Maharjan and goalie Surendra Shrestha collided with each other due to miscommunication while attempting to defend the ball.
Jawalakhel came up without six key players in the playing set including Sunil Rawat, Dipen Shrestha, Krishna Malakar and Bijay Dhimal. Skipper Raj Kumar KC and Hem Gurung were slapped with red cards in their previous match.
NRT enjoyed more goal possession and made some impressive post attacks but a heroic display from Jawalakhel custodian Min Basnet and stubborn defending line remained major obstacles in their way.
In the 40th minute, goalie Basnet made spectacular long stretch dive to deny Danish Shayan Mosavi´s header. In the 84th minute, defender Jaggunath Khadka of Jawalakhel headed from goal-line and saved a net hit from Jeeten Karki.
Jawalakhel nearly doubled the lead in two minutes from time when Raj Kumar Ghising´s feeble shot deflected hitting the pole.
Jawalakhel coach Suman Yonzan said that Jawalakhel are a better team and that they have proved it by defeating NRT. “Our target was to earn point and we succeeded at it. We also proved that we are a better team as we defeated NRT without five first choice players in the playing set,” Yonzan added.