Bhandari shatters TAC’s title hopes

Lalitpur, May 1

National team member Sabitra Bhandari scored a brace as Nepal APF Club shattered Tribhuvan Army Club’s hopes of winning the maiden title of the Women’s National Football League here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

League leaders TAC, who needed just one point to secure the trophy, faced a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their departmental rivals in the last-round match of the Super League. The win meant both APF and TAC finished the tournament with six points with the former leading the four-team table on head-to-head results.

Nepal Police Club are at the third with three points, while Eastern Region, who are yet to open their account in Super League, are at the bottom. The match between NPC and Eastern Region on Monday will decide the winners of the league. In case if all three teams are tied on six points, the NPC will become the champions for the second year in succession as they have upper hand on goal difference among the teams. NPC have plus-one goal difference, better than the two others teams — TAC (zero) and APF (minus one).

TAC came into the match on a high following their wins over NPC and Eastern. But APF ruined their plans. Bhandari provided the lead to APF in the eighth minute scoring the goal from close range. Punam Jharga Magar brought TAC into the match with an equaliser in the 29th minute as the teams went into the break at 1-1 draw. In the second half, Bhandari struck the winning goal in the 70th minute.

APF coach Nar Kumar Rai said the team should have registered big-margin victory. “The players wasted many goal scoring chances. We played attacking game and also made sure that the defense line stay firm,” said Rai. TAC coach Chakra Tamang said his girls gave their best against a strong team. “A minor error from our defenders allowed Bhandari to score the winner,” Tamang added.