Manang triumph; Friends upset

Kathmandu, January 6:

Anil Gurung fired a hat-trick as defending champions Carlsberg Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) beat Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club 3-0 while Machhindra Energizer Club upset NIB Friends Club 2-1 in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League Football here today.

Anil Gurung’s diving header on a cross from Khum Gurung gave the defending champions the lead in the 19th minute. He doubled the tally five minutes later, again through a header following a Nabin Neupane freekick. Gurung completed the hat-trick in 67th minute on a pass from Sagar Thapa, which also earned him the Adidas man of the match award. With the day’s result MMC climbed one spot up to fifth with 26 points while Friends Club (24) dropped to sixth.

Earlier in the first match, skipper Rabin Byanjankar put Friends Club ahead in the 28th minute but Machhindra levelled the scores on a silly miskate by goalkeeper Uzol Manandhar in the 61st minute.

Manandhar let Budhha Chemjong’s straight forward shot roll through his legs but the ball rebounded off the post letting Sola Otegbola an easy task of scoring in an open net.

Michael Olakitan, another new signing of Machhindra, scored the winner four minutes from time.

NRT sign three Bhutanese

KATHMANDU: New Road Team (NRT) unveiled their three new signings — Bhutanese national football team members Nawang Dendup (forward), Kinley Dorji (forward) and Passang Tshering (midfield) — on Saturday. They will play for NRT until the end of the ongoing national league, the club said at a programme. All the three players represent Transport United, the 2006 Bhutan league champions.

The players were the members of the Bhutan national team in the ninth SAF Games (Islamabad, 2004) and SAFF Championship (Karachi, 2005). They also played in the AFC President’s Cup in Nepal (2005) and Malaysia (2006).

Passang also represented his country in the AFC Challenge Cup (Bangladesh, 2006) while Kinley played in the 10th South Asian Games (Sri Lanka, 2006). — HNS

Today’s matches

• RCT vs NRT @ 12:30pm

• TAC vs Saraswoti @ 2:30pm