KATHMANDU, June 14: Kenyan player Gerard Mukonza scored twice including the last minute penalty to help Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club earn a hard fought 3-2 win over Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) on Tuesday in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League at the Dasharath Stadium.
In an entertaining match, Mukonza turned hero for the Jawakakhel as he netted the first goal in the 62nd minute to level the score 1-1 and scored the decisive in the 90th minute through penalty to break the 2-2 deadlock.
Jawalakhel was awarded with the penalty after Alexis Likeng tackled Mukonza at the box. With the twin goals, Mukonza also hit his eighth goal to come in the list of highest scorer after Jumanu Rai (15) of Police, Bharat Khawas (13) of Police and Santosh Sahukhala (11) of Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC).
The last minute penalty again could not remain free from the controversy. RCT coach Madhu Karki expressed strong discontent towards the penalty awarded to the opponent by referee Sudish Pandey. “The boys played well but the referee made a blunder in awarding penalty which cost dearly for the team. It was a clean tackle on ball and you can see the replays in screen for 100 times,” Karki said.
With the result, which turned out to be eighth win from 11 matches, Jawalakhel progressed one spot in the standings to achieve second place with 26 points pushing behind MMC with 25 points to third. MMC which takes on Swayambhu Club has a match advantage over Jawalakhel and leaders Police Club which has 29 points.
RCT with six wins, two draws and three defeats remain constant in the sixth place with 20 points. Jawalakhel dominated the match in the first half and made three dangerous attacks on post, but all in vain. But the second half turned competitive and it was RCT who opened the scoring. Resham Rana gave lead nine minutes after the interval beating an offside trap and then advancing goalie Dinesh Thapa.
RCT´s lead could not last for a more than eight minutes as Mukonza hit back the equalizer in the 62nd minute from six yard box in a long pass from Laxminath Shrestha. Karna Subba, the 65th minute replacement of Prabin Karki netted second for Jawalakhel in the 72nd minute to give 2-1 lead. Subba gave a finishing touch from close range in a short cross of Bishal Rai (Jersey no 10). But to add more thrill Dipesh Thapamagar made a brilliant one touch strike from the box to level the scoring 2-2. Thapamagar had got the ball in goalie Dinesh Thapa´s rebounder off Resham Rana shot. Mukonza´s brilliant header 84th minute header in a freekick of Thomas Wangira Biket was attractively denied by RCT golvesman Dilip Chhetri.
Earlier, during the first half Bikram Limbu´s powerful 20-yard strike rebounded hitting the inner edge of the bar, which created confusion among the spectators whether it crossed the goalline or not. It returned in the six yard area after bouncing around the goalline which goalie Chhetri quickly caught and resumed the play.
Jawalakhel coach Kishor KC claimed Limbu´s shot to be cent percent goal. In the 43rd minute, Thapamaga of RCT cleared Laxminath Shrestha´s header from the goalline while during the early moments of the match, goalie Chhetri denied Bishal Tamang´s shot from the box. “We had expected tough challenge from RCT as it is one of the quality team,” KC said.