Friends ruin MMC party

Lalitpur, January 8

Bikash Lama scored the solitary goal in the injury time as NIBL Friends Club defeated Signature Manang Marshyangdi Club 1-0 in the last match of the Pulsar Martyrs Memorial A Division League here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

MMC, who had defended their title with two rounds remaining, were stunned in the last match that also prevented them of creating the history of winning the league title with 100 per cent winning record. The loss, however, stopped them from equalling the record of Nepal Police Club, who had finished at the top as an unbeaten team.

MMC finished the campaign with 36 points from 13 matches and they earned Rs 5 million along with the record eighth title of the league. MMC had won the record breaking seventh title when the league was held five years ago before the ANFA failed to organise the league due to various problems within the association. Ranipokhari Corner Team — who are currently in B Division — have won the league six times. Ruslan Three Star Club and New Road Team are further behind with five titles each. Three Star also have a National League title under their kitty.

CMG Club Sankata — who registered nine wins and played a draw — were second with 28 points and they received Rs 3.5 million. Three Star came third 26 points after they managed eight wins and three draws to pocket Rs 2.5 million. Three departmental sides, Tribhuvan Army Club (25), Nepal APF Club (23) and Nepal Police Club (19), were fourth to sixth and they earned Rs 1.5 million, Rs 700,000 and Rs 500,000 respectively. Apart from the prize money, the teams also received Rs 50,000 per win as match fee.

At the bottom half of the table, Himalayan Sherpa Club finished seventh with 17 points, followed by Chyasal Youth Club (16) and Saraswati Youth Club (14). Likewise, Jawalakhel Youth Club were 10th with 13 points, followed by Friends (12) and Brigade Boys Club (10).

Machhindra Football Club and New Road Team finished as the last two sides in the 14-team standing. They played a goalless draw in the day’s another match at the Nepal APF Club grounds and ended up with seven points each. As the league does not have the provision of relegation this time around, both the teams will stay in the A Division. Instead, NRT will face a penalty of Rs 200,000 and two points in the next edition of the league, while Machhindra will be slapped a penalty of Rs 100,000 and one point.

Meanwhile, MMC received three individual awards — goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha, midfielder Heman Gurung and coach Suman Shrestha. Bharat Khawas of TAC and Ranjit Dhimal of Three Star were named the best forward and defender respectively. All five individuals received motorcycle and Rs 50,000 each. Bikash Khawas of TAC was adjudged with the emerging player award and he got Rs 100,000. The award was introduced by the ANFA from this edition in memory of star footballer Mani Shah.