Nabil Three Star, Armymen win

BBC end NRT’s 10-match unbeaten run; RCT down Friends:

Kathmandu, January 27

Janamat Karki scored the lone goal as Tribhuvan Army Club defeated Mahabir Club 1-0 and Surendra Tamang struck twice in Nabil Three Star Club’s 2-0 win over Machhindra FC in the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League here at Dasharath Stadium.

At Armed Police Stadium, Obagbemiro Junior scored two goals to give Brigade Boys Club (BBC) a 2-0 win over New Road Team (NRT), while Rishi Rai scored twice as Ranipokhari Corner Team downed Friends Club 2-0.

TAC skipper Karki found the net in the 30th minute when he controlled the ball fed by Raju Tamang and scored into the first bar that beat Mahabir goalkeeper Min Basnet. Karki, who took his goal tally to 16 equalling MPC’s Ramesh Budhathoki, injured his knee in the 71st minute and was substituted by Madhav KC.

TAC coach Kishor KC was not happy with his boys’ performance. “We won the match, but the players are not playing to their potentials,” KC said. “Our opponents foiled our strategy as they did not let our wings supply acute crosses with tight marking.”

Mahabir coach Bishnu Prasad Poudel said that he rested his Nigerian players for next match. “We have to play against Sankata on Saturday. We thought it would be easier for us to get points from Sankata rather than Army, so we gave them the rest today,” he said.

In the other match, Nabil Three Star got both the goals from Surendra Tamang, who took his goal tally to 17. Tamang put the defending champions ahead in the 17th minute when he headed home following Pradeep Maharjan’s pass. Machhindra FC’s second-choice goalkeeper Ramesh Thapa Magar should have easily gathered the straightforward header, but he fumbled the ball and put it inside the goal.

Tamang doubled the lead in the 25th minute with a right-footed powerful shot from the edge of the area on Vishan Gauchan’s pass. Three Star Club fielded a Nigerian striker, Christaian Chidiebere, in the starting line-up, but was replaced by Santosh Sahukhala in the second half due to injury.

Coach Mrigendra Mishra said that the win was important. “The players played as per expected in the first half, and missed so many opportunities in the second,” he said.

Defended the Nigerian player’s lacklustre performance in the match, Mishra said: “He just arrived yesterday and he is not set with the team. He is good with the ball and we hope he will perform better in the coming matches.”

Obagbemiro Junior put BBC ahead in the 56th minute when he scored in an open net after beating NRT goalkeeper Surendra Shrestha. The Nigerian doubled the lead seven minutes later when he dodged Kamal Bista and goalkeeper before scoring in an unattended post. Junior took his goal tally to 19, equalling MMC’s Basanta Thapa — who went to Japan and will not play this season.

Rishi Rai gave RCT a lead in the 34th minute on a long pass from Sulabh Jung Rana. Rai doubled the tally scoring his 17th goal of the season in the 57th minute in his solo effort.