MMC edge Three Star; APF win

KATHMANDU: Nabil Three Star Club suffered the second successive defeat, going down 0-1 to Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) at the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

MMC's South Korean forward Lee Ji Hon struck the decider in the 57th minute to hand his club the fourth consecutive win. With the victory, MMC also climb at the top of the table with 12 points, two points ahead second-placed of NRT. In the other match, Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club defeated Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) 2-1 to register their first.

MMC played two Koreans upfront and their move paid off when Hon quickly responded to his compatriot Kim Sun Do's cross with a powerful ground shot. Three Star were unlucky not to have found the back of the net despite dominating the match. Three Star coach Bal Gopal Maharjan rued the missed opportunities."We muffed up few chances while few others were denied by the superb goalkeeping but I am satisfied with the overall performance," added Maharjan.

Surendra Tamang missed two chances close from the area in the ninth and 35th minute, shooting wildly off target on both the occasions. MMC custodian Bishal Shrestha also denied Vijay Gurung's 25-yard dipping shot. Three Star found the back of the nets twice but was ruled offside both the times. Santosh Sahukhala headed a long cross from Ripesh Agrawal only for MMC goalie to deny the forward.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung said his side was now catching up the momentum. "Three Star are a team filled with star players and winning against them is quite remarkable," said Gurung. Defeat leaves Three Star at the eighth position with four points.

Earlier, TAC was made to pay for a blunder from Chun Bahadur Thapa who mistimed an attempted clearance onto his own nets in the 46th minute. TAC keeper Bikash Malla, who had charged forward, couldn't make his ground when the ball kissed the nets.

Ganesh Lawati then doubled the APF's lead in the 76th minute scoring on a solo effort making a long run to beat two TAC defenders, goalkeeper Bikash before firing in from a tight angle. Santosh Nepali replied for TAC three minutes later with a powerful shot out from the edge of the box. Chun missed an easy chance shooting a skier in the 53rd minute. APF second choice custodian Sabin Regmi proved his worth denying two clear chances brilliantly punching away the freekicks from Shiva Chaudhary and Pradeep Kunwar in the 12th and 35th minutes respectively.

APF coach Maheshwor Mulmi credited the own-goal for his team's victory. "If we had not taken the lead, the game could have gone the other way," said Mulmi. TAC coach Raju Kaji Shakya accepted that Chun's own goal changed the complextion of the match. Shakya also said his midfielders Santosh Nepali and Raju Tamang didn't play to his expectations.

ANFA negligence infuriates MMC prez

KATHMANDU: The Laxmi Hyundai Manang Club (MMC) President Tashi Ghale on Monday criticised the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) for not putting a basic facility in place during the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League. MMC’s South Korean forwards Kim Sun Do and Lee Ji Hoon sustained injuries during their match against Nabil Three Star Club on Monday but ANFA had not managed the ambulance service for the match. Ghale said they waited for about 30 minutes and had to look a vehicle themeselves. "We were not even allowed to take our vehicles inside the stadium and were forced to carry them on our backs,” said furious MMC President. Kim fractured his leg following a tackle from Anjan KC and will wear the plaster for at least two weeks and could miss most of the first round matches while the doctors will take an MRI of Lee on Monday. According to team coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung, Lee's injury is not severe and he can join the team from next match.