Police, Army make winning start

KATHMANDU: Defending champions Nepal Police Club (NPC) and Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) made winning starts at the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division Football League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

In the first match, NPC defeated Boys Union Club (BUC) 3-0 with goals from Ju Manu Rai, Bhola Silwal and an own goal from Pale Khadka. TAC, who had finished the previous edition as runners up, eased past Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club (JYC) 4-1 following a brace from Bikarna Shrestha and one each from Santosh Nepali and Ram Kumar Bishwas.

NPC, who played without their key players Chetan Ghimire, Suman Subedi, Pankaj Shahi and Deepak Poudel because of the injuries, managed to come with a comprehensive win. Ju Manu gave NPC the lead in the 26th minute with a close range goal following a pass from Rabin Shrestha. NPC doubled their lead in the 51st minute courtesy an own goal from Pale who shot directly into his own nets while trying to clear the ball from the box.

Bhola then completed the rout in the 75th minute scoring on a solo effort making a run from the midfield. NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said he was satisfied with his team’s effort despite lacking key players.

In the other match, the Armymen struggled to find the rhythm in the beginning but they got going once they found the back of the nets in the 27th minute. Bikarna Shrestha gave a brilliant finish to a cross from Mahendra Khawas

inside the area as the

Armymen took the lead

and a minute later Santosh produced a stunner

with a powerfully struck shot from the edge of the area that left JYC goalie Min Basnet stranded.

Bikarna further extended the lead for the Armymen when his shot rebounded off the bar and found the JYC custodian’s back to kiss the net in the 49th minute. Bishwas then put the

issue beyond doubt with a header following a free kick from Hiranya Magar.

JYC, who were even struggling to penetrate through the TAC defense line, finally got some consolation in the 58th minute when Yogesh Shrestha headed home on a cross from Raj Kumar Ghising. TAC coach Raju Kaji Shakya said his team got a good result in the match but absence of Raju Tamang in the midfield affected the team’s performance.

The league will resume after two days as the organisers, ANFA, were forced to postpone Sunday and Monday’s matches because of general strike.

San Miguel Fan Zone

KATHMANDU: The Martyrs Memorial San Miguel A Division League saw a new practice in Nepali football with the start of San Miguel Fan Zone. A total of 50 football fans got the chance to cheer for their favourite clubs and enjoy the football matches as VIPs at the Fan Zone. San Miguel distributed various merchandizes — caps, clatters and placards to the fans in the fan zone. There are a total of 50 VIP seats available for San Miguel consumers each day as a reward for being loyal to San Miguel beer. Two of the lucky winners chosen from the San Mi-guel Fan Zone — Ramesh Karki and Sanjeev Shah — gave away San Miguel Most Valuable Player trophies to NPC’s Jumanu Rai and TAC’s Santosh Nepali respectively.