Police extend lead at the top; Army thrash Boys Union


KATHMANDU, April 16: Defending champions Nepal Police Club extended their lead to four points at the top of the points table on Friday defeating Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) 2-0 while Nepal Army Club hammered relegation hit Boys Union Club 4-0 in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League Football Tournament at the Dasharath Stadium.

Continuing their unbeaten run in the league, Police added 32 points in their kitty, four points clear of second placed Three Star Club who have played equal 14 matches. MMC remained unchanged in eighth place with 18 points.

Likewise, Army retained fourth place with 25 points and Boys Union hit the bottom of the table with five points in their account.

A goal each in either half from Jumanu Rai and Parbat Pandey sealed Police´s victory over MMC who had made a bright beginning in the league by winning the first four matches. However, MMC have lost all three matches played in the second leg.

Rai headed to open their scoring in the 25th minute from the box in a freekick of Rabin Shrestha from the left flank. Pandey doubled the advantage in the second minute of the second half through a freekick as MMC goalie Bishal Shrestha failed to judge the ball properly. The long range freekick of Pandey bounced ahead and went over the goalie to enter the net.

MMC created as many as four moves in the first half but poor finishing cost them dearly as they weren´t able to send the ball past the net even once. Police did not create many chances. However, Chetan Ghimire squandered a one-on-one with custodian Shrestha as he attractively caught the ball.

Coaches of both sides agreed that it was a 50/50 match. “Both the teams created chances, but we made the breakthrough,” commented Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha after the win. Commenting on the four-point lead, he said, “A single points has a great value in the league and four-point lead at the top of the table is an achievement for the team.”

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang said that his side failed to score due to lack of experienced players. “Most of the players of the squad are young and inexperienced, so they failed to utilize scoring chances,” Lopsang said.

Earlier, in the first match Army scored all four goals in the first half against relegation threatened Boys Union. Striker Amrit Basnet scored twice while defender Ram Kumar Bishwas opened the scoring and Boys Union´s Pale Khadka hit the last goal for Army in their own net.

Bishwas gave an eighth minute lead to Army utilizing a corner of Raju Tamang. Likewise, Basnet chipped over an advancing custodian Binay Shrestha from the box to double the lead in the 20th minute and added the third goal for the team 10 minutes later through a header. Basnet headed in a long cross of Hiranya Magar to score his fourth league goal.

The last goal for Army came two minutes before the first half through Boys Union defender Khadka who directed the ball into his own net in a bid to defend Shiva Chaudhary´s cross.

Army coach Raju Kaji Shakya said that the players lacked coordination in the second half after they scored four goals in the first.

Malla to miss remaining matches

Army skipper and glovesman Bikash Malla will not be seen in their upcoming league match. Malla, a lieutenant of Nepal Army, will be heading for a five-month long commando training. Malla is also the skipper and goalie of the Nepali football team.

Ganga Kumar Deuja will take Malla´s place in the Army squad from their next match. In Friday´s match, Malla was replaced by Deuja in the 78th minute.

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