Armymen prevail over Manang; Far-west stun NPC

Lalitpur, September 29

Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) claimed vital three points from Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdhi Club (MMC) with 1-0 victory, while Sudur Biscuit Far-west FC stunned Nepal Police Club (NPC) 4-1 in the Red Bull National League matches here on Tuesday.

In the second match played at ANFA complex grounds, Nawayug Shrestha’s solitary goal in the 18th minute was enough for the Armymen to defeat star-studded MMC. Shrestha scored in a rebound from close range after MMC goalkeeper Dipesh Yadhav fumbled Bharat Khawas’ header. TAC climbed to the third position with 20 points from 11 matches, while MMC dropped a spot down to fourth with 19 points.

In a highly competitive match, MMC creates a host of chances but their strikers failed to find the back of the nets. In the 56th minute TAC goalie Bikesh Kuthu saved Shiva Shrestha’s header, while MMC skipper Anil Gurung ended up with a wide header in the 74th minute.

In the 86th minute, MMC came close to scoring the equaliser but Bishal Rai’s shot went inches wide off the post. TAC custodian Kuthu ensured the team walk away with full three points when he denied Moussa’s header in the injury time.

TAC coach Megh Raj KC said the team was performing better every day. “The win against MMC was very important. The team is getting strong and we have lots of options in the squad which compels the players to do well to stay in the team,” KC added. MMC coach Raju Kaji Shakya said his strategy went wrong.

“We brought in Stephen Mbile and Bikram Limbu in place of Sissoko and Nabin Neupane thinking the Army would play physical game. That made our defence weak and we lost the match,” said Shakya. “We still have five games to go and the players need to give their best.”

Earlier, Far-west dominated the match against NPC. Ananta Tamang put Far-west ahead in the third minute with a header in Lawal’s free kick. NPC goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa and defenders remained as mute spectators that allowed Tamang to score easily. Jumanu Rai levelled the scores through a flick header in the 18th minute after being fed by U-19 team member Ram Chandra Wajee.

Shiva Subedi restored Far-west’s lead with a deflected goal in the 42nd minute and skipper Bimal Gharti Magar made it 3-1 three minutes into the second half when he easily placed the ball into the post following a pass from Tej Tamang. The same combination brought in team’s fourth goal, this time Magar was the provider and Tamang the scorer in the 90th minute.

Far-west coach Kiran Shrestha praised the performance of his players. “The team is improving and the boys are playing quick game. Also they are confident on their passes which is troubling the opponents,” added the coach. NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha was not happy with the performance.

“The way we performed today, we should have conceded more goals. The body language of the players was also not good,” he added.