Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 30:

Manoj Kumar Shahi scored a hat-trick as Saraswati Club beat Sano Gaucharan Youth Club 4-3 and Machhindra Bahal Club defeated Naxal Youth Association 3-1 in the Martyrs’ Memorial ‘B’ Division League Football Tournament here at Dasharath Stadium today.

With this win, Machhindra Club moved to the top of the standing with 16 points on a better goal difference ahead of Bouddha Football Club, who are also on 16. Saraswati Club are firmly entrenched in third spot with 12 points whereas Sano Gaucharan are lying at fourth place with eight points. Naxal are at the bottom and on verge of relegation with just two points. On Sunday, Sano Gaucharan took lead in the fifth minute through Prem Subba, who scored from inside theD-Box. Manoj Kumar Shahi levelled the score for Saraswati in the sixth minute and put them ahead in the 25th minute. Subin Ghimire made it 3-1 for Saraswati in the 29th minute when he found the net following Manoj Kumar Shahi’s cross.

In the 41st minute, Santosh Shrestha of Sano Gaucharan reduced the margin to 3-2 when he capitalised on Saraswati custodian Surendra Lal Shrestha’s error.

Sano Gaucharan’s Ramesh Basnet levelled the score following Lil Bahadur Rai’s cross from the right flank in the 58th minute. Manoj Kumar Shahi completed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute when he converted the winner from just outside the D-Box.

Saraswati Club could have added at least two more goals in the second half had their striker Manoj Kumar Shahi not muffed up couple of easy chances.

In an earlier match, Machhindra took lead through Deepak Rai in the fifth minute when he found the net capitalising on a Naxal defensive blunder.

In the 38th minute, Aajat Pradhan doubled the tally when he fired the ball from the edge of the D-Box and Arjun Rijal chipped in the third goal in the 83rd minute.

Amir Maharjan scored a consolation goal for Naxal in the 59th minute.

ANFA-Mayos Cup

LALITPUR: Hari Khadka scored the only goal in extra time as Kathmandu defeated Parsa 1-0 in the inaugural match of the Central-level ANFA-Mayos Inter-school Football Tournament today. The 37-team even has been jointly organised by Education and Sports Ministry, National Sports Council and ANFA under the sponsorship of Himalayan Snax and Noodles Pvt Ltd, to mark the 34th birthday of Crown Prince Paras.

In other matches at ANFA Complex, Nuwakot beat Rupandehi 2-0; Nawalparasi edged out Rautahat 4-3; and Sindhupalchowk beat Dhanusha 2-0. At JYC ground, Tanahun beat Baglung 1-0; and Siraha thrashed Palpa 5-1. At Buddhi Bikash Mandal, Bara beat Kavre 4-1; Saptari beat Dolakha 7-6; and Sunsari beat Kaski 3-2. At Sano Gaucharan, Mahottari beat Lalitpur 2-1; Chitwan defeated Kanchanpur 2-0; and Sarlahi beat Makwanpur 6-0. — HNS