Friends hold toothless Army

Lalitpur, December 6

Tribhuvan Army Club played a goalless draw with NIBL Friends Club in the Pulsar Martyrs Memorial A Division League here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

Friends goalkeeper Dev Limbu was the hero of the match with strings of brilliant saves in the game in which the departmental side had to play without prominent striker. Skipper Bharat Khawas was suspended for the match after he collected two yellow cards in previous rounds, while Nabayug Shrestha is yet to gain full fitness after sustaining toe injury in the second match of the league and George Prince Karki has been undergoing Nepali Army training.

Friends custodian Limbu made a diving save to stop Tanka Basnet’s strike from 25 yards out in the 14th minute, while he punched out Santosh Tamang’s attempt from the edge of the are in the 36th minute. Friends defender Anil Maharjan made a goal-line clearance to deny TAC stand-in skipper Tek Bahadur Budhathoki’s header on a pass from Dinesh Henjan.

Likewise, Bimal Pandey struck against the post with a header in the 39th minute and it was a repeat of action moments before the break when Pandey’s header on Dinesh Henjan’s corner hit the post and Friends keeper Limbu collected the ball with ease.

Dinesh Henjan’s attempt in 54th minute went above the bar. Friends created two opportunities in the space of seven minutes. In the 64th minute, Henjan made a save from goal-line to deny Sanjog Maharjan, while Dhiraj Shrestha failed to reach the ball on a free kick from Fofana in the 71st minute.

After strings of misses, TAC coach Nabin Neupane introduced striker Nawayug Shrestha but that also failed to produce any goal despite have ample opportunities. Shrestha released the ball to Tanka Banset in the 87th minute but Friends custodian Limbu, who was later adjudged the man of the match, ensured his team walk away with a point.

With their second draw in six matches, TAC accumulated 14 points and are at the fourth position in the 14-team standing, while Friends have five points.

Another match between Brigade Boys Club and Machhindra Football Club also ended in a 0-0 draw. The stalemate meant BBC accumulated four points from six matches, one place ahead of Machhindra, who now have three points.