Friends upset MMC; NRT triumph

Kathmandu, November 8:

Nilendra Dewan struck twice as Friends’ Club upset defending champions Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) 2-1 and New Road Team (NRT) beat Ranipokhari Corner Team 2-1 in the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League Football here today.

Umesh Upretti gave MMC the lead with a superb 65th minute free kick that curled into the nets.

Dewan levelled the scores in the 68th minute. Bijay Mahat supplied him the pass from the midfield and Dewan converted following a misunderstanding between the MMC defenders and goalkeeper Sachin Shrestha. Dewan found the winner in the 76th minute on a freekick after MMC defender Sagar Thapa fouled Bijay Mahat just outside the box.

“Our players literally handed Friends the win,” said MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung. He even blamed skipper Tashi Tsering for the mistake. “Nothing was right in the defence as players were not in their position,” Gurung added.

MMC skipper Tsering excepted their defensive lapses. “We played well but Friends were better,” Tsering added.

Friends coach Siddhi Byanjankar said that his players were at their best. “MMC is a better team but we won because of the hard work,” Byanjankar said. Dewan bagged the Adidas man-of-the-match award, presented for the first time in the league.

Earlier in the first match, Subhash Rai and Jeevan Sinkeman scored for NRT while Som Lama converted for RCT. Rai’ 25th minute strike from the edge of the box took the palm of the RCT goalie Manish Hada before crossing the line. RCT equalised in the first half injury time as Rishi Rai set up Lama to score. Sinkeman scored the winner in the 59th following a cross from Binod Lama.

“It was a vital match and we won it,” said NRT coach Raju Shakya. “We have to be careful not to concede goal during the injury time,” Shakya said, indicating to the trend of conceding goals in the injury time.

RCT coach Baiju Kapali blamed the lack of coordination between the strikers and midfielders for the loss. “Our game was satisfactory but we lost because strikers failed to utilise the chances,” he added.

Today’s matches

• JYC vs Machhindra @ 1:00pm

• BUC vs Saraswoti @ 3:00pm