Oladipo Olawale Afeez scored a brace as Dhangadhi Football Club defeated Kathmandu RayZrs 3-0 in the Khukri Nepal Super League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

Tanka Basnet had opened the scores early in the 19th minute before Afeez added two more in the first half to ensure Dhangadhi register first win in their second match. Dhangadhi had faced a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Biratnagar City FC in the first match, while Kathmandu had defeated Lalitpur City FC 1-0 in their previous game.

Tanka Basnet put Dhangadhi ahead in the 19th minute in dramatic fashion. Basnet crossed the ball from the flank but the ball hit the second bar and took a deflection to Kathmandu goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu before entering the goal.

Afeez doubled the lead four minutes later in counter attach after he guided the ball alone from the centre of the pitch before slotting past Kuthu.

Afeez netted his second and team's third goal in the fifth minute of the first half injury time following a pass from Darshan Gurung. Both the teams failed to score in the second half and Dhangadhi walked away with full three points.

Afeez also came close to scoring in the 34th minute but Kathmandu goalkeeper Kuthu denied him in one-onone situation, while Dhangadhi skipper and glovesman Kiran Kumar Limbu saved a shot from Kathmandu's Sanjog Rai in the 54th minute.

Dhangadhi were reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute when Ramesh Dangal received second yellow card for a foul against Kathmandu's Rumesh Bartaula.

But Kathmandu failed to take make the numerical advantage count in the last 26 minutes that included four minutes of injury time. Afeez was named the man of the match, while his Dhangadhi teammate Pujan Uparkoti was adjudged the emerging player. On Wednesday, Chitwan FC will play against Butwal Lumbini FC, while Biratnagar will face Pokhara Thunders.

A total of seven teams are taking part in the first-ever franchise-based football tournament organised by the Nepal Sports and Event Management (NSEM) Pvt Ltd under the sponsorship of Khukri. The winners will be richer by Rs 3.5 million, while the runners-up will get Rs 1.5 million. The best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and emerging player of the tournament will get Rs 100,000 each, while man-ofthe-match in each game will receive Rs 25,000. The emerging footballer, except for 'A' Grade and foreigners, will be awarded with Rs 10,000 in each match.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.