Kathmandu, December 21
Machhindra Football Club and New Road Team recorded their first wins while NIBL Friends Club edged past Himalayan Sherpa Club 2-1 in the Pulsar Martyrs Memorial A Division League here today.
At the ANFA Complex grounds, Machhindra defeated Saraswati Youth Club 4-2 for their maiden victory in the league. Saraswati took an early lead through an own goal after Machhindra defender Sanjay Rajbahak scored into his own goal while trying to clear the ball from a crowded penalty box in a corner.
Machhindra skipper Bishal Rai levelled the scores in the 16th minute with a header following a corner from Vassadia Diamande. Diamande put Machhindra ahead four minutes later when he outsprinted defenders in counter attack, while Anil Gurung made it 3-1 in the 25th minute with a header following a free kick from Bibek Pandit.
Saraswati cut the deficit in the 36th minute when Francis Okechukwu found the back of the nets on a cross from Victor. Defender Sabin Khadka missed a sitter to level the scores one minute later. Bikash Rai then converted from the spot to complete the scoring in the injury time. Machhindra earned the penalty after Saraswati defender Susan Lama brought down Khamir Gilson inside the box. With the victory, Machhindra moved to 11th position with six points from 10 matches, while Saraswati are at ninth spot with 10 points.
At the Nepal APF Club grounds in Halchowk, NRT beat GrandMaster Jawalakhel Youth Club 2-1 to earn their first points since playing a 2-2 draw against Tribhuvan Army Club in the first round. NRT had faced defeats in eight consecutive matches. Kouassi Didier Yoube and Sushil Lama scored one goal each for NRT, while Suman Dangol netted for Jawalakhel.
With the win, NRT accumulated four points from 10 matches and they are at the bottom of the 14-team competition, while Jawalakhel are at the 10th position with eight points.
In another match at the ANFA Complex, Friends beat 10-man Sherpa. Goha Patrick put Sherpa ahead on the 26th minute after his feeble attempt from the penalty box entered the goal following a pass from Karna Limbu. Sherpa’s joy did not last long as Friends levelled the scores one minute later through Sanjog Maharjan’s excellent goal.
Sherpa were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute after Ashish Gurung received the second yellow card for a foul on Sanjog Maharjan. Friends capitalised on the numerical advantage and Jeevan Gurung found the back of the nets in
counter attack two minutes before the end. With their second win, Friends accumulated eight points from 10 matches, while Sherpa remained at sixth spot with 14 points.
A version of this article appears in print on December 22, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.