Police gather momentum as they go three points clear

KATHMANDU, July 6: Defending champion Nepal Police Club strengthened its grip at the top of the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League on Wednesday with an impressive 4-1 haul over departmental rival Nepal Army Club at the Dasharath Stadium.

With Wednesday´s win Police also extended its unbeaten run to 47 matches in the league. The last time police got defeated in the league was against Boys Union Club in the second leg of 2063 BS league. Police succeeded to remain undefeated in the last 11 matches in 2063 BS league and it lifted the trophy of the last league remaining undefeated in all 22 matches.

With the result, Police moved three points clear of the second placed Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) with 38 points. Both Police and MMC have equal three matches to go. Army remained unchanged in the seventh place with 22 points.

The league´s top scorer Jumanu Rai netted twice in either half for the leader while Bhola Silwal and Yogesh Shrestha netted apiece after interval. Nawayug Shrestha had scored in the half an hour mark for the Army to level the score 1-1 until the first half but Army was unable to hold the holders in the second half and conceded three goals.

With the twins Rai succeeded to score 19th league goal, five ahead of his teammate Bharat Khawas who will miss the upcoming match against New Road Team (NRT) as he was booked for the second time in the ongoing league. Santosh Sahukhala of MMC also has 14 goals in his name.

In the entertaining first half, both the teams maintained their pace and made some brilliant post attempts. Police took an early lead in the 12th minute when Rai tapped in an acute cross off Khawas. However, Army hit back the equalizer in the 30th minute with a brilliant show from Bhojraj Ghimire. Ghimire sprinted the ball long way and supplied it to Bikarna Shrestha who set it for Nawayug Shrestha in box and Nawayug slammed in a powerful shot.

Khawas of Police and Shrestha of Army squandered a chance each in the first half. Khawas´ close range shot was denied by goalie Bikash Malla from the close range and Shrestha´s strike from the edge of the danger area was controlled by Police goalie Ritesh Thapa who made some other heroic saves.

Police dominated the show in the second half and piled up immense pressure. Rai doubled the advantage nine minutes after interval when he made a one-touch strike from the box in pass of Yogesh Shrestha. For the third goal Bhola Silwal directed the ball from goalline in cross off Rai set by Khawas. Shrestha sealed the victory in the 87th minute with spectacular show sprinting ball the long way and beating three defenders and goalie Malla.

Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said that his Army was unable to resist pressure in the second half. "We conceded after we made series of mistakes before the interval," Shrestha said.
Yogambar Suwal in his second match as the coach of Army team said his defense could not play well in the second half. “The defense was weak in the second half."

Friends thrashes Koilapani

Tanka Bahadur Lama completed a hat-trick in Friends Club´s 5-0 humiliation over Koilapani Polestar of Nawalparasi in the day´s kick off at the Dasharath Stadium. Santosh Tamang and substitute Subarna Samekham netted second and third for the Kupandol based club.

Friends moved a step ahead to secure ninth place with 20 points, equal points as that of 10th place Mahindra Bansbari FC, which beat Nepal APF Club at the Halchowk ground. However, Friends is ahead of Bansbari on the basis of goals superiority. Koilapani, the only team from outside the valley without single win lies at the bottom of table with three points.

Lama opened scoring in the ninth minute in the one sided match and netted other in the 73rd and 88th minute in the one side match. Tamang scored in the 57th minute while substitute Samekham netted in the 64th minute. Samekham had come as a replacement of Bishnu Gurung in the 57th minute.

Friends again squandered a scoring chance when Ajad Pradhan hit the penalty high above bar in the 81st minute after he was taken down by Nandalal Magar.
"Our ultimate target is to get into top eight positions though it is difficult task," Friends coach Paras Chaudhary said after the match.

Bansbari fights back to beat APF

Mahindra Bansbari came from behind to beat Armed Police Force (APF) 2-1 at latter´s home ground. Banshari got both the goals in counter attack.

APF dominated the match and its striker Ganesh Lawati put the home team ahead in the ninth minute with his 13th league goal. But Dennis Ovko Ochieng hit back the equalizer nine minutes after interval in counter attack. Sujan Limbu added another four minute later against the run of the match and again in counter attack.

Bansbari goalie Lucky Karki made some brilliant saves to deny the home team from hitting back equalizer while Lawati squandered a couple of chances.

APF remained constant in the 12th place with 15 points while Bansbari moved a step ahead to 10th with 20 points.

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