Policemen defeat RCT, take lead

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 10:

Hari Khadka netted a free kick to give Mahendra Police Club (MPC) a 1-0 win over traditional rivals Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) in the Martyrs’ Memorial Everest ‘A’ Division League Football Tournament here today. After missing as many as three easy opportunities, Hari Khadka netted a 25-yarder free kick directly to give the Policemen three points which took them to the top of the standings with 15 points from five matches without conceding any goal.

Defending Champion Manang Marsyangdi Club are second with 13 points from five matches, while Three Star Club hold third spot with 12 points from four matches. Last-place holders Kathmandu Club are yet to earn point.

At Dasharath Stadium, the policemen should have gone atleast 4-0 up within 15 minutes. In the third minute, Hari missed a free header, while Ramesh Budhathoki had a chance on custodian Ritesh Thapa’s pass, but ended up with a wide shot in the sixth minute. Two minutes later, MPC got the same-nature opportunity as Ramesh did, this time Hari Khadka failed to convert the chance with RCT custodian Dilip Chhetri remaining to beat. In the 14th minute, RCT glovesman Chhetri brilliantly punched out Hari Khadka’s 30-yarder right foot shot. The eventful first 15 minute was literally Mahendra Police Club vs Dilip Chhetri. In an one-sided affair, Hari Khadka missed another beautiful opportunity on Ramesh Budhathoki’s pass in the 22nd minute, while RCT goalkeeper Chhetri had a brilliant save in the 45th minute when he saved Ramesh Budhathoki’s attempt on Hari Khadka’s pass. The ball rebounded to play and Parbat Pandey attempted a header but Chhetri again saved RCT from further loss.

RCT tried their best to pull an equaliser in the second half, but MPC custodian Ritesh Thapa spectacularly punched out RCT skipper Madhu karki’s 20-yarder free kick in the 49th minute.

In the 63rd minute, Binod Shahi failed to net an equaliser in an open net on a rebound, which MPC midfielder Ananta Thapa had pulled out from goalline.

Kishor Subba of MPc muffed up a chance to double the tally in the counterattack in one-to-one situation with MPC custodian Thapa. Hari Khadka collected a pass from Kishor Subba in the 83rd minute, but ended up with a wide shot from the penalty area. Parbat Pandey of MPC and Surendra Balami of RCT were booked. Meanwhile, the organisers informed that the matches on May 11 (Three Star Club vs Mahabir Club) and May 12 (New Road Team vs Jawalakhel Youth Club) would go as per the fixtures if Nepal Bandh programmes called by five-party alliance are withdrawn, otherwise the scheduled matches will be postponed.