Dhangadhi Football Club and Lalitpur City Football Club played a 1-1 draw in the Khukri Nepal Super League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

After a goalless first half, Oladipo Olawale Afeez put Dhangadhi ahead before Ranjan Bista levelled the scores for Lalitpur in the space of six minutes as both the teams earned one point each from the match which was played under rain.

Afeez opened the scoring when he headed home from the six-yard box in rebound after a shot from Ashok Khawas rebounded to play. Dhangadhi's joy short lived as Bista netted the equaliser six minutes later. Substitute Bista volleyed from close range after Dhangadi defenders failed to clear the ball properly on a powerful strike from Nurlan Novruzov Zahid.

Earlier, Lalitpur marquee player Anjan Bista put the ball into the nets in the fifth minute but he was ruled offside, while he saw his goal-bound ball cleared from the goalline by Dinesh Rajbanshi in the 42nd minute. Lalitpur earned a penalty in the 43rd minute when Dhangadhi goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu fouled Anjan Bista inside the box but Nurlan Novruzov Zahid failed to beat the custodian from the spot.

In the lone notable move from Dhangadhi, Bikash Rai had his free kick punched out by Lalitpur goalkeeper Arpan Karki in the 60th minute. With their first draw in three matches, Dhangadi accumulated four points and shared the lead with Butwal Lumbini FC. Lalitpur played their second draw and have two points in three matches.

Dinesh Rajbanshi of Dhangadhi was named the man of the match, while Lalitpur's Neeraj Basnet was declared the emerging player. On Friday, Kathmandu RayZrs will play against Pokhara Thunders.

A total of seven teams are taking part in the first-ever franchise-based football tournament organised by Nepal Sports and Event Management Pvt Ltd under the sponsorship of Khukri. The winners of the tournament will be richer by Rs 3.5 million, while the runners-up will get Rs 1.5m. The best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and emerging player of the tournament will get Rs 100,000 each. Man-of the-match and emerging player in each game will receive Rs 25,000 and 10,000 respectively.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 30, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.