Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 6

With the match between leaders New Road Team (NRT) and bottom of the table Boys Union Club (BUC), the second leg of the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League Football will begin here at the Dasharath Stadium on Wednesday.

In another match, defending champions Nepal Police Club (NPC) will play strugglers Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club. NRT, who qualified for the AFC President’s Cup group stage to be held in Dhaka from May 12-16 as the first round leaders, have 24 points — seven wins, three draws and one loss. Relegation threatened BUC have five points with only one win from their 11 first leg matches though they looked promising when they held the Tribhuvan Army Club and Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club, under the new management of Kumar Katuwal.

BUC played superb football against NRT in the first leg leading 1-0 till the 53rd minute. NRT, however, staged a comeback scoring three goals in nine minutes and eventually won 3-2. Bolstered by the presence of Danish striker Sayan Mosavi — also the second highest scorer in the league with eight goals — the star studded NRT will also be enjoying the services of two Brazilians in the second leg.

NRT coach Diken Suwal, however, is not in the mood to take BUC lightly. “No teams were consistent in the first leg and even my boys did not play in full throttle. It won’t be easy playing against BUC,” he said.

Meanwhile, the only unbeaten team in the league, NPC (23 points), were cruising along nicely at the first place in the middle stage of the first leg but draws against the Ranipokhari Corner Team and Nabil Three Star Club shattered their dreams of playing in the AFC President’s Cup qualifiers for the fourth time in a row.

NPC have lost their influential winger Bhola Silwal following groin injury. Coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said the loss could affect his team’s campaign at the time when star striker Ju Manu Rai is not at his best. “Bhola supported the striking line but since he is out for at least 20 days, it is going to be difficult for us,” said Shrestha. In the first leg, NPC earned a 1-0 win over Sankata, thanks to Chetan Ghimire.

Sankata Club have just six points and are second from the bottom despite bringing in two foreign players in Bangladeshi Under-19 goalkeeper Md Nurul Karim and midfielder Md Asif Hussain.

ANFA to aid Bista

LALITPUR: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) will aid the former national team goalkeeper Ranjan Bista who is suffering from lungs and bone cancer. The Martys Memroial San Miguel A Division League organising committee meeting on Tuesday decided to donate Rs 250,000 to the former Boys Union Club custodian. Bista will get 10 per cent share of the gate collection from the second leg of the league. The ANFA will give Rs 150,000 as advance of the gate collection while Rs 100,000 will be released from the Players Welfare Fund, informed the football’s governing body. Bista, who has represented Nepal in seven international football tournaments, is currently undergoing treatment at the B&B Hospital where doctors have prescribed him daily doses of medicine worth Rs 12,000 to stabilise his health.