RCT hold Manang; Friends beat NRT

Kathmandu, September 15:

Kumar Thapa scored in the injury time as Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) rallied for a 2-2 draw against Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) and Chandra Tamang scored the only goals in Friends’ Club’s 1-0 win over New Road Team (NRT) in the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League Football Tournament here today.

The draw put MMC in the second position with 13 points on better goal difference with Mahendra Police Club. Tribhuvan Army Club lead with 15 points. Defending champions Three Star Club are in the fourth position with 12 points, while fifth-placed Gyanendra Armed Police Force Officers’ Club have 10 points, from four matches.

MMC took an early lead through Basanta Thapa in the fifth minute following Khum Gurung’s pass inside the six-yard box. RCT goalkeeper Dilip Chhetry was the culprit as he failed to gather Basanta’s header that dropped just in front of him before kissing the net.

After hitting the cross bar with a powerful shot from 12 yards in the seventh minute, Harihar Thapa levelled the scores in the 31st minute when he fired home from close range on Rajan Gauchan’s pass.

RCT coach Baiju Kapali’s decision to bring in Milan Shrestha worked. Shrestha, who replaced Ajit Thapa in the 61st minute, put RCT 2-1 up when he converted the 30-yard free kick in the 79th. The match was heading towards the end, but skipper Kumar Thapa snatched a point from RCT when he capitalised RCT goalkeeper Chhetry’s error and scored in an open net from the edge of the penalty box. MMC have lost just seven matches in league tournaments since 1986, including two last year when they finished third.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung was furious at goalkeeper Dilip Chhetry for conceding the ‘silly’ goals. “My boys played their natural game for the last 10 minutes only, and our goalkeeper was to blame for the result,” he said.

However, MMC skipper Kumar Thapa said that the team lost two important points. “We should have won the match easily after taking an early lead, but we had to fight for a draw,” said Thapa.

RCT coach Baiju Kapali was satisfied with his boys’ performance during the match. “My boys played to the expectations today and the team was boosted by the return of captain Madhu Karki and defender Pradeep Acharya,” he said. In the other match, Friends’ Club registered their second win of the tournament riding on Chandra Tamang’s lone goal. Tamang’s goal came in the 29th minute when he snatched the ball from Kamal Bista near the penalty area, dodged another defender before firing from home close range.

NRT striker Sunil Subedi came close to scoring twice in the second half, but failed. Subedi hit the cross bar in the 49th minute, and failed to convert from close range in the 57th even after beating Friends’ goalkeeper Rajeev Shrestha.

Today’s matches

Jawalakhel vs APF @ 2pm

Machhindra vs Mahabir @ 4pm

Martyrs’ memorial SAN MIGUEL league


Tribhuvan Army Club 5 5 0 0 15

Manang Marsyangdi Club 5 4 1 0 13

Mahendra Police Club 5 4 1 0 13

Nabil Three Star Club 5 4 0 1 12

Armed Police Force 4 3 1 0 10

Sankata Club 5 2 2 1 8

Friends’ Club 5 2 1 2 7

Ranipokhari Corner Team 5 1 3 1 6

New Road Team 5 1 1 3 4

Jawalakhel Youth Club 4 0 4 0 4

Boys’ Union Club 5 1 0 4 3

Bouddha Football Club 4 0 1 3 1

Brigade Boys Club 4 0 1 3 1

Machhindra Club 4 0 0 4 0

Mahabir Club 5 0 0 5 0