Armymen, TSC share points; title race wide open

Lalitpur, October 1

Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) and Ruslan Three Star Club played a 1-1 draw in the Red Bull National League match at the ANFA Complex grounds here today.

The stalemate meant the title race is wide open for top four clubs. Jhapa-XI are at the top of the table with 24 points from 13 matches, while Three Star remained at the second place with 23 points, and TAC third with 21. TSC and TAC have played 12 matches each, while MMC are at the fourth place with 19 points from 11 matches.

TAC took the lead through Tek Bahadur Budhathoki’s goal in the 25th minute. Budhathoki received a pass from Deepak Gurung and placed the ball into the nets without much trouble. TSC levelled the scores in the 38th minute when skipper Sagar Thapa converted a free kick from 25 yards into the goal, with the aid of a deflection to the TAC wall that sent goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu to wrong direction.

TSC earned the free kick after TAC skipper Bharat Khawas brought down Bikram Limbu.

TSC came close to scoring on couple of occasions in the second half, while TAC could not make any impressive move. Fed by Santosh Sahukhala with a flick header inside the danger box, Afeez Olawale made an attempt but Deepak Gurung was there to clear the ball after TAC custodian Bikesh Kuthu failed to gather the ball.

Olawale’s shot from the edge of the box in the 77th minute went inches wide off the post following a pass from Jagjeet Shrestha.

Army coach Meghraj KC was not satisfied with the performance of his players. “Our game was slow as we were playing second match in three days,” said KC. “The match was important one as both the teams are strong title contenders,” he added.

TSC coach Rajendra Tamang said the match was tough and they were okay with the draw. “I am satisfied with the performance of the boys. Our striking line was slow today and they failed to put pressure on Army defense line,”