Police practically assured of third title

KATHMANDU, July 13: Only a miracle can prevent Nepal Police Club from lifting the title of Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division Football League for the third time in a row. Police´s 1-0 win over arch rival Mega Three Star Club on Wednesday at the Dasharath Stadium has practically guaranteed Police the league title with a match remaining.

Defender Suman Subedi scored the all-important goal through a brilliant diving header from the six-yard box in a long free-kick taken by veteran midfielder Parbat Pandey.
With the result, Police also extended its unbeaten run in the league to 49 matches.

Had Three Star won or drawn the match against Police, the title race would have been wide open until the last day of the league.

Police, who takes on second placed Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) in its last match on Saturday, extended its lead to three points at the top of the points table with 44 points. MMC has 41 points.

Earlier, MMC humiliated relegation battler Brigade Boys Club 7-0 to keep alive its title hopes, but Three Star´s defeat in the late match of the day almost shattered its dreams.

MMC still has a mathematical chance, but it seems almost impossible. If MMC is to lift the title, it must beat Police by a margin of at least eight goals on Saturday.

In the competitive match between Police and Three Star, both studded with five national players each, Police dominated the show and made frequent attacks, but some brave saves from national goalie Kiran Chemjong foiled their attempts.

In the 11th minute Chemjong heroically punched Parbat Pandey´s free-kick to safety, and six minutes later denied Yogesh Shrestha´s free-kick in the same fashion. Three Star could make only one attempt on goal in the first half. But the Patan-based club was unlucky to see Bishad Gauchan´s shot from the box rebound off the bar. 

Police could have taken the lead in the 27th minute if scorer Subedi and Ramesh Katwal had connected to a pass from Bhola Silwal just ahead of the goalline.

Police made about a couple of dangerous attempts on goal after the interval as well. A feeble shot from Bharat Khawas in the 51st minute went inches wide while Pandey´s free-kick was denied by Chemjong just below the bar.

Three Star had scored a goal in the fifth minute of added seven minutes at the end of the match, but referee Sudish Pandey ruled it out for handball. A large number of Three Star and MMC fans had erupted in joy when Bishnu Sunuwar sent the ball past the net out of a scuffle in the box, but the situation in the stadium turned tense when the referee disallowed the goal.

"The title hat-trick has been possible because of coordination among coach, players and the management. I would like to thank the players for their great effort in achieving this success," said Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha. Shrestha´s counterpart Meghraj KC commented that his side put up a good performance as per expectations. "Both the teams played well," KC said, also lauding Sudedi for his flying header. "Subedi took a great risk with a long jump for the goal."

With the result, Three Star dropped one spot to fifth with 31 points after fourth placed Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) beat Bauddha FC 5-4 at the Halchowk Ground.

The early kick-off at the Dasharath Stadium saw double hat-trick for the first time in a match in the ongoing league as Anil Gurung and Nirajan Khadka each scored three goals in MMC´s greatest margin victory (7-0) over Brigade Boys. The other goal came from Danish recruit Shayan Mosavi.

Gurung opened the scoring in the third minute and added other in the 42nd and 67th. Similarly, Khadka scored in the seventh, 64th and 89th minutes. Mosavi found the target in the 54th minute. Khadka took his goals tally to nine and Gurung to six in the league.

Relegation threatened BBC remained unchanged in the 16th place with 10 points with a match in hand. BBC´s fate depends on the result of the match between Army Club and Machhindra as well as its match against Swayambhu Club.

At the Halchowk Ground, RCT bounced back from a two-goal deficit to beat Bauddha 5-4 in a high-scoring match. Bauddha had taken a 2-0 lead by the 12th minute after Crispen Chhetri opened the scoring in the third minute and doubled the tally nine minutes later.

But Ntolo Ngoumou and Dipesh Thapamagar put RCT back on level terms. Ngoumou hit the first goal for RCT in the 17th minute and Thapamagar added another in the 26th. 

Thapa Magar then put RCT in front in the 38th minute with his second goal. Ngoumou made it 4-2 in the 60th minute through penalty and Amar Dangol scored his team´s fifth in the 69th minute.

Som Thapa added two more goals to Baudhha´s tally in the 76th and 83rd minutes, but it fell short of one goal to level the match.

No comments: