KATHMANDU, June 8: Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club came from behind and earned a 1-1 draw against Yeti Airlines Himalayan Sherpa Club on Wednesday to come second at the points table in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League Football Tournament at the Dasharath Stadium while Machhindra Club achieved its second victory to climb out of relegation zone with 4-0 haul over United Youth Club.
At the Halchowk ground, a lone goal from substitute Resham Rana ten minutes from time gave Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) a 1-0 win over minnows Swayambhu Youth Club which lifted them to third spot from seventh with equal 20 points as that of second placed Jawalakhel.
Sherpa which extended its unbeaten run up to nine matches following the results, moved to fifth place with 19 points, progressing one step ahead in the table. Machhindra, with six points, came in the 14th place while newly promoted Swayambhu and United are third and second from the bottom with 3 and 1 points respectively in the 18-team contest. Bottom four teams will be relegated to the second division.
Substitute Karna Subba prevented Jawalakhel from second defeat when his tight angle shot from close range, with only six minutes remaining, entered net rolled between the legs of goalie Rupak Shrestha in a pass from Kenyan recruit Gerard Mukonza. The goal also became fifth for Subba who had replaced Hem Gurung in the 80th minute.
Earlier, Deepak Rai had put Sherpa ahead in the 66th minute, scoring his fifth goal of the league, when he met a rebound of his own shot in close range off custodian Dipesh Thapamagar. The goal also became fifth goal of the league.
In the competitive match, both the teams had crafted some attractive moves. Kigozi Ismail and Nabin Neupane of Sherpa were denied by custodian Thapa in the early first half while Jagjeet Shrestha was unlucky in the 63rd minute when his powerful shot rebounded hitting the pole.
In the 19th minute, Mukonza chipped custodian Shrestha inches wide from the post while in the 85th minute Sherpa defender Saroj Dahal prevented a ball again chipped by Mukonza just from ahead of the goal line. Similarly, in the 62nd minute, goalie Shrestha punched Thomas Wangira Biket´s powerful 30-yard free-kick from the crossbar.
"The boys could not play well and the midfield also did not do their duty in the first half but played better in the second half," Jawalakhel coach Kishor KC said adding, "They also failed in utilizing some scoring opportunities." Sherpa coach Upendraman Singh, though satisfied with his side´s performance, lamented on failing to utilize scoring opportunities.
In another match, Suraj Gurung and Mozambican Ezee Collins netted twice in either half for Machhindra in course of achieving their second win. Dominating the match from the beginning against United Youth, Gurung opened scoring through header in the seventh minute and doubled tally two minutes later from a close range. Similarly, Collins netted the third in the 59th minute and sealed the victory during third minute of the stoppage time.
United coach Roshan Dangol said that his side was in poor condition and the team consisted of limited players and about half a dozen among 25 registered players were injured. The second win gave new enthusiasm to Machhindra assistant coach Narottam Shakya, who now has his eyes set for top eight positions.
At the Halckhowk ground, Resham Rana, a 70th minute replacement of Dipesh Thapamagar for RCT netted the decisive ten minutes after his entry. Earlier, RCT missed taking lead through spot-kick in the 60th minute when Prabesh Katuwal hit the pole. RCT was awarded with the penalty after Shekhar Limbu was taken down by Anil Tamang in the box.