Kathmandu, November 7:

Ramesh Budathoki struck a hat-trick as Mahendra Police Club (MPC) thrashed Brigade Boys’ Club (BBC) 5-2 while Sankata held Armed Police Force (APF) Team 1-1 in the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League Football here today.

Skipper Hari Khadka and Jumanu Rai also scored for MPC at the Dasharath Stadium. Shekher Limbu scored for BBC while MPC defender Deepak Poudel conceded an own goal. Prakash Karki scored for the APF and Gopal Thapa conceded an own goal for Sankata in the second match of the day.

Jumanu provided the departmental team an early lead in the third minute as he beat off-side trap following skipper Khadka’s well-timed pass. Khadka doubled the lead in the 26th minute with an easy goal following Bhola Silwal’s pass.

MPC goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa’s poor run continued in their second game when he squandered the straight forward strike from Shekher Limbu in the 37th minute. Budathoki extended MPC’s lead two minutes into the first half injury time when he found the nets on Arjun Rijal’s cross. Assisted by skipper Khada, Budathoki scored his second goal in the 46th minute and completed the hat-trick with a superb 18-yard strike in the 67th minute.

MPC coach Birat Shrestha said his players were better than the previous match. Commenting on their defensive lapses, Shrestha said, “I don’t see any problem in our defence.”

BBC captain Sachin Rai was not discouraged by the defeat. “MPC is a better team and losing points against them was normal but we will pose strong challenge against the teams like us.”

In the second game, Sankata boys (ANFA Academy’s Under-17 players hired by the club for a year) took a lead on an own goal by APF defender Gopal Thapa in the ninth minute. APF, however, did not take long to level the scores as Prakash Karki headed home two minutes later.

Sankata coach Maheshwor Mulmi was satisfied to share a point. “Our youth team dominated the game against the experienced team,” Mulmi said. Sankata skipper Bikash Singh Chhetry said that they played better than the previous match. “I hope to excel our performance in the coming matches,” Chhetri said.

APF coach Dhruba KC praised the performance of Sankata players. “Our boys underestimated the junior boys,” said KC, adding that they (Sankata) could pose strong challenge against any team. APF skipper Kumar Thapa said that it would be difficult to win the championship with such a performance.