KATHMANDU, June 10: Nepal Police Club defeated Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) 1-0 during the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League Football Tournament on Friday and moved three points clear of second placed Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club, which edged past Swayambhu Club 2-0 at the Dasharath Stadium.
Meanwhile, Bauddha Club came from a goal deficit to beat Koilapani Polestar Club 2-1 at the Halchowk Ground as Crispen Chhetri scored a last gasp goal in the injury time.
Jumanu Rai scored the lone goal for Police in the 34th minute from six-yard area utilizing a blunder of Krishna Kunwar. Kunwar could not clear a goal-kick from NPC custodian Ritesh Thapa just outside the danger area and Rai scored it in open net after beating RCT goalie Dilip Chhetri.
Earlier, Thapa had made a diving save to Amar Dangol´s shot and denied RCT from taking lead. In the 70th minute, Chhetri blocked Rai´s shot as latter met Bhola Silwal´s cross. Silwal attempt on rebound was well defended and cleared by RCT defenders. Three minutes later, Chhetri again made a brilliant save as he punched Yogesh Shretha´s strike from left flank. RCT´s Resham Rana missed a chance to level the match as his header from the cross of Amar Dongol sailed above the bar.
"We tried to match the pace of police player in the first half and failed to perform well but we corrected it in the second half," said RCT Coach Madhu Karki.
"We performed well against mighty rival Police but the silly goal that we conceded cost us dear," he added. "We could not maintain the pace of the first half in the later part of the match and boys played defensive game for last 15 minutes. However, RCT could not attack on us as they relied on long passes on the second half," said Police Coach Birat Krishna Shrestha.
Police Club has 26 points from 10 matches while RCT is fourth on the table with 20 points from 10 matches. Jawalakhel is second on the table with 23 points from 10 matches. Gerard Mukonza scored twice for Jawalakhel as it defeated Swayambhu 2-0. Swayambhu goalie Emmanual punched Gerard´s powerful shot with a diving effort in the 20th minute and Karna Subba missed on one-on-one situation three minutes later. Subba didn´t pass the ball to Bishal Rai (jersey No 10) though the latter was in a position to score.
"My boys looked selfish in the first half. They prioritized individual game than the team game," said Jawalakhel Coach Kishor KC.
In the second half, Jawalakhel got rid of the problems and came as a unit. Gerard scored in the 65th minute from the six-yard area after Emmanual fumbled a Karna Subba strike. Gerard doubled the tally with back heel tapping as he met Karna Subba´s cross in the 76th minute. Swayambhu´s Prakash Gurung shot just above the bar right before Gerard goal and later Santosh Basnet´s powerful free kick was saved by Jawalakhel custodian Dinesh Thapa.
"We played as a unit in the second half and we were able to score within the 20 minutes of the second half and sealed a easy victory," said coach KC.
Swayambhu Coach Bikram Lama said that his team came under pressure after conceding first goal as well as his team lacked good offensive players. Swayambhu is in relegation zone with 16th position and three points.
Another relegation battler, Koilapani Club gave a brave fight against Bauddha Club but finally surrendered to a 2-1 defeat. Saroj Koirala gave lead to Koilapani in the 33rd minute but Bijay Majhi leveled the score in the 55th minute. Crispen Chhetri scored the winning goal for Bauddha in the fourth minute of injury time to stun Koilapani.
Koilapani is at the bottom of the table with a point in their account while Bauddha is on the eighth position with 18 points from 10 matches.