Jawalakhel moves up to fourth; own goal sinks Machhindra

KATHMANDU, June 3: Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club routed Koilapani Polestar Club 4-1 during the ongoing Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League Football Tournament at the Halchowk Ground on Friday and moved two spots up to the fourth position of the league table.
Likewise, Friends Club defeated Brigade Boys Club (BBC) 2-0 while Naresh Pokharel´s own goal in the 80th minute sank G-Five Machhindra Club 1-2 against Bauddha Football Club at the Dasharath Stadium. 

Gerard Mukonza scored a brace for Jawalakhel as Prabin Karki and Bishal Rai (jersey No 10) struck a goal each. Gerard met a cross from Thomas Wangira Bik´s free kick in the 38th minute and his shot entered the net hitting the post. Karki made the lead 2-0 in the 40th minute with a stunning 25-yard shot giving no chance to Koilapani glovesman Bibek Kalakheti.

Rai scored Jawalakhel´s third goal in the 73rd minute as goalie Kalakheti failed to grip the shot off Gerard. Jangu Sherpa met the net in the 87th minute for Koilapani to narrow down the goal margin but Gerard added his second in the 90th minute in a goal-mouth-melee to add panic to the hapless Koilapani.

Jawalakhel has 16 points, equal to Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) and New Road Team (NRT). However Jawalakhel has inferior goal-differences than MMC and superior than RCT and NRT.  Koilapani is at the bottom of the table in the 18-team contest with only a point in its account.

In the early kick off of the day, Santosh Tamang and Ajad Pradhan scored a goal each for Friends Club. Tamang entered the ground in the 36th minute as a substitute of Hiraman Rai and made a golden touch in the 39th minute to give Friends a lead. BBC goalkeeper Suman Ranjitkar´s attempt to punch a powerful shot off Tamang from the edge of the penalty area went in vain and the ball met the net.

Pradhan doubled the lead through a free-kick from 30 yard as it went dodging the goalkeeper into the net taking a bounce just in front of goal-line. BBC´s Yalambar Rai made few attempts in either half of the match but Friends´ custodian Sagar Gurung defused them all easily.

"We are satisfied with the performance but few mistakes cost us dearer," said BBC team manager Arbin Gurung. "Goalkeeper made mistakes in pressure situation," he added. He also said that BBC will fight till the end of the league to survive despite the financial crunch in the club.

Friends Coach Paras Chaudhary expressed his delight over the victory and claimed that the three points from Friday´s match resurrected hopes of finishing within top eight and qualifying for the National League. Friends has seven points and the 11th position after the match while, BBC has five points and the 13th position in the league table.

In the second match of the day at the Dasharath Stadium, Bauddha bounced back from a goal deficit to 2-1 victory over Machhindra. Machhindra´s African striker Eze Collins scored in the 10th minute of the match as he met a pass from Camara Moussa in the danger area and shot it over the head of advancing goalie Binod Dangol into the net.

Bauddha made a comeback in the second half. Substitute Binod Gurung scored with a spectacular shot in the 51st minute as he met a pass from Khum Gurung.
To add Machhindra´s misery, Naresh Pokharel scored an own goal in his attempt to block a cross off Bauddha´s substitute striker Bijay Majhi in the 80th minute.

"We were confident of making a comeback despite of goal deficit and both of my substitute players delivered what I wanted," said Bauddha coach Kiran Shrestha. "We have some vital matches ahead but we are eyeing top-eight position in the league," he added.

Bauddha has 14 points and the seventh position in the league table ahead of Mega Three Star Club while Machhindra is at the relegation zone with three points and 15th position.

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