Budhathoki helps Three Star overcome MMC jinx

Kathmandu, January 18:

Nabil Three Star Club scored two late goals in four minutes to beat defending champions Carsberg Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) for the first time in the league history during Martyrs Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League Football here at the Dasharath Stadium today. Armed Police Force (APF) Officers’ Club blanked NIB Friends Club 4-0 in another match.

Three Star had never defeated MMC in any forms — league or knockout —of tournament held in Kathmandu. Outside the Valley, Three Star had beaten MMC only once in Budha Subba Gold Cup semi-finals two years ago in Dharan. “I can’t express my feelings in words,” said Three Star coach Bal Gopal Maharjan,who is also the former national and Three Star defender. “My boys registered history beating them,” Maharjan added.

Salau Nurudeen had provided MMC the lead following a cross from Nabin Neupane’s cross in the 26th minute. Three Star was unlucky three times when they hit the woodwork. Rajendra Tamang’s 30-yard shot rebounded off the bar in the 30th minute before Lok Bandhu Gurung hit the bar twice in the 35th and 40th minute.

Three Star’s hard work paid off when second half substitution Chidiadi Chyna equalised on a headed pass from Anjan KC in the 86th. Three Star defender Sanjeev Budhathoki found the winner on a header following a Lok Bandu freekick in the 90th minute.

MMC coach Chhiring Lobsang Gurung said that their opponent played better game. “They (Three Star) are still in the title race which might have motivated them,” said Gurung. Gurung admitted that his team was not fighting for the championship but were looking for the second place.

In another match, Jivesh Pandey struck twice while Santosh Sahukhala and Ganesh Lawati scored one goal each for APF. Sahukhala scored the first goal in the 31st minute on a Dhanbir Chaudhary pass before Pandey doubled their lead in the 48th minute. Pandey scored his second following a pass from Sahukahala in the 66th and Lawati added fourth five minutes later.

Today’s matches:

• BUC vs Sankata @ 12:30

• Army vs Machhindra @ 2:30pm