Martyrs’ Memorial League in decisive stage

Kathmandu, February 17:

The Martyrs’ Memorial National League has come to a decisive point, as the champions of the first double-leg system will be decided within four days.

The league is at an unpredictable stage with top four teams having three-point difference while defending champion Three Star Club and Manang Marsyangdi Club tied at 62 points each from 26 matches each.

Three Star Club’s 1-1 draw against Mahendra Police Club on Friday has lend even more closeness between the title contenders.

With only four matches remaining, the fight in the mid-table and relegation zone has already ended with new entrants Gyanendra APF Officers’ Club clinching the fifth position in their maiden season, ahead of NRT, RCT and Sankata.

Another newcomer Bouddha FC and Mahabir Club were relegated to ‘B’ Division, while Machhindra FC survived in its first year in the upper division.

Each and every football enthusiast is concerned about the winner and the best five individuals who will get Yamaha G5 motorcycles.

Table indicates that the curiosity remains till the last game, that is February 9. Last year, Three Star had to wait till the final whistle to win the title from MPC.

As in the last year, Yamaha Motors India have announced a Yamaha G5 motorcycle for the five best individuals — goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker and coach. Last year, Three Star coach Dhruba KC was named the best coach and won the Yamaha Libero. He is not involved in any team this year, but is equally keen about the winners.

As a football expert, KC’s feels this year’s league is different. “All the 15 clubs are equally capable of beating each other this time around.

Last year, there were weak clubs which conceded too many goals against the big teams,” says KC/ “But the situation is different this time, as there is tough competition in all the three stages — top, mid and bottom.”

He also feels that the relegated club — Bouddha and Mahabir — were not weak teams. “Except from these two clubs, other in the bottom half are also good teams,” he says.

“This year, all the new and the old generation players have got the opportunities to prove their calibre. Some old generation players have come strongly this year, while the new players are trying to overtake the older ones,” he says.

Three Star goalkeeper Upendra Man Singh is the most experienced player in the league. Apart from him, MPC’s Ritesh Thapa, MMC’s Bikash Malla, and NRT’s Surendra Shrestha are in the race to win best goalkeeper’s Yamaha G5.

Sagar Thapa of MMC, Three Star’s Vishan Gauchan and Vijay Gurung, APF’s Man Sajan Shrestha, Army’s Raju Tamang are equally talented defenders and anyone of them can win the best defender’s award.

The front line has got few good players, but MPC’s Jumanu Rai, There Star’s Surendra Tamang and BBC’s Obagbemiro Junior have time and again rescued their teams.