Machhindra dent Three Star’s title hopes


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KATHMANDU, APR 21 - G-Five Machhindra Club dented Nabil Three Star Club’s title hopes edging them 1-0 with a late goal from Daniel Sores in the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League at the Dashrath Stadium on Tuesday.

Sores scored perhaps one of the most memorable goals of the season when he unleashed a screamer from about 25-yards out on 81st minute to hand Three Star their third defeat of the season.

Three Star are five points adrift of leaders Nepal Police Club, who face Rani Pokhari Team on Wednesday, while Machhindra on 24 points are fifth, four points behind fourth placed New Road Team.

Three Star coach Bal Gopal Maharajan conceded that their hunt for the title had suffered a major setback following the defeat, and a fight back would be difficult than expected with only seven games remaining. He also held the injuries of three of his first team players responsible for the slump.

Three Star, playing without Bijay Gurung, Anjan K.C. and Sanjeev Budathoki due to injuries, also missed the form of Tanzanian Catory D. Mumbara, who was not in his usual best. Santosh Sahukhala’s lack of composure at the goal mouth that saw him miss two easy chances from close range also played a major part in the slump, and to compound their miseries stand-in captain Vishan Gauchan hit the upright on 77th minute.

At the other end, Sores almost gave Machhindra the lead after he exchanged quick passes with Karna Limbu inside the penalty box on 58th minute, but skied his effort when it matter the most. Rohit Chand had his attempt cleared from the goal mouth by Vishan Gauchan before Sores stunned the whole stadium with his screamer that found the left corner without the knowledge of Three Star keeper Kiran Chemjong.

It was moment to savour for Machhindra’s newly introduced coach Megh Raj K.C.. He said Three Star played better football but his team had the best opportunities. “The goal was defiantly not fluke as we had created several scoring chances before in the match.”

In the first match of the day, Manang Marshyangdi Club piled on more misery to strugglers Armed Police Force (APF) defeating them 3-1 with goals from Tashi Tsering, Jagjit Shrestha and Kim Nam Du. Ganesh Lawati pulled one back for APF in the nick of time.

Kim Nam Du got the first of three goals for Manang as early as in the second minute after he was collected a pass from Amar Pun. Jagjit Shrestha made it 2-0 one minute before the interval from a similar move, and veteran defender Tashi Tsering sealed the win on 69th minute to score the first on the season before Ganesh Lawait scored the consolation goal in the second minute of injury time.

Manang climbed three places upto sixth with 21 points but their stay may be shortlived as the two teams behind them -- RCT and Friends -- are just a point behind having played a game less. APF, on the other hand, are still third from the bottom with 12 points.

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