Jawalakhel moves up to third

KATHMANDU, June 6: Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club of Lalitpur beat Mahindra Bansbari FC 3-0 to move up to third place in the Martyrs Memorial A Division League on Monday. The day also saw wins for Friends Club and Brigade Boys Club (BBC) from the same district.

At the Dasharath Stadium, two players with the same name -- Bishal Rai (Jersey No 9 and 10) -- were on target for Jawalakhel and Kenyan recruit Gerard Mukonza added one more as Jawalakhel leapfrogged three places with 18 points, level on points with second-place Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) and three behind leader Nepal Police Club. Bansbari remained unchanged in the ninth spot with 12 points.

In another match, Surendra Tamang inspired Friends Club to its third victory in the league with a convincing 4-0 win over minnows United Youth Club. As a result, Friends climbed two spots to 10th, while United remained unchanged in the 17th position with one point.

At the Halchowk ground, top flight debutant BBC inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Machhindra for its second victory. Machhindra, the sixth place finisher in the previous edition, is still looking for its first victory in the league. Machhindra lies in the 15th place with three points, while BBC occupies the 13th spot with eight points.

Bishal Rai (Jersey No 9) gave an early lead to Jawalakhel in the eighth minute from a corner kick as the ball slipped through goalkeeper Lucky Karki´s hands. Rai (Jersey No 10) scored into an open net from close range in Mukonza´s cross five minutes after the break when goalie Karki was already beaten.

For the last goal, Mukonza launched a breathtaking counter-attack, sprinting forward with the ball from the center of the ground and beating a defender and goalie before sending the ball past the net.

Efforts by Bansbari, which has earned the tag of ´giant killers´, to fight back went in vain despite some spectacular attempts during the last 15 minutes as goalie Dinesh Thapa made some heroic saves to shatter its hopes. 

Goalie Thapa twice showed quick reflexes to save Dennis Ovko Ochieng´s powerful volley during the later stage of the game, and denied Shyam Nepali and Nabin Lama also.

"Strong defense line-up and good coordination among forwards and midfielders were the main factors behind the team´s victory," Jawalakhel coach Kishor KC said, expressing satisfaction toward his team´s discipline.

Bansbari coach Hari Om Shrestha lauded the opponent goalkeeper´s performance. "We made many attempts on goal but the goalkeeper made spectacular saves," said Shrestha, while lamenting the lack of coordination between the referee and assistant referees. "A small mistake by the referee can cost the club dearly, and today the referee and assistant referees gave different decisions," Shrestha said.

In another match, Friends had to wait until the injury time of the first half to open the scoring. In the one-sided match, Prakash Budhathoki put Friends ahead in the second minute of the added three minutes of injury time when he met his own rebounder off goalie Ajay Maharjan in the six-yard box. Surendra Tamang doubled the tally in the first minute of the second half from close range with a spectacular finish after a one-to-one pass with Budhatoki.

The third goal came in the 79th minute from substitute Subarna Samekhan in a pass of Tamang. Samakhan had replaced Thomas Scot in the 44th minute.

At the Halchowk ground, Sunil Bishwakarma and Khagendra Khadka scored one each in either half for BBC to defeat Machhindra. Bishwakarma gave the lead to BBC in the 13th minute while Khadka sealed the victory eight minutes from time.

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