Sankata win; Sinkeman sinks Machhindra Club

Kathmandu, September 21:

Ramesh Sinkeman scored the lone goal as New Road Team (NRT) defeated Machhindra Club 1-0 and Sankata beat Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) 3-2 in the rain-hit matches at the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League Football Tournament here at Dasharath Stadium today. Sinkeman scored the winner in the 39th minute on Binod Lama’s pass. Machhindra goalkeeper Binod Dangol was to blame for the goal as he failed to save Sinkeman’s poor shot. “That was an unexpected ball,” said Dangol at the post match press conference.

Machhindra tried hard for the equaliser and their best chance came in the injury time, but Bal Gopal Shahukhala ended up hitting the post from close range. “I am satisfied with the boys’ performance. They tried hard today,” said Machhindra coach Diken Suwal. “We tried Hem Nepal in the second half and succeeded in giving pressure to the opponents, but the luck was not on our part,” he added. However, NRT coach Maheshwor Mulmi was not happy with his boys’ performance. “They failed to meet the expectations, may be because of sudden rain, they were put under regular pressure by the opponents,” said Mulmi. “We feel the absence of our two key players — Jeevan Sinkeman and Yugal Kishor Rai are not in the set because of injuries,” he added.

In the other match, Sankata took an early lead through Sushil Shahi’s header on Kailash Dangol’s corner in the eighth minute. RCT levelled the scores through a penalty, which they earn after Sankata goalkeeper brought down Rajan Gauchan inside the d-box. Rishi Rai converted the spot kick. Sankata Club skipper Kailash Dangol put Sankata 2-1 up through a spot kick. FIFA referee Gyani Raja Shrestha awarded the second penalty of the match when Binod Shahi fouled Nilendra Dewan inside the penalty area in the 35th second into the second half.

Rishi Rai levelled the scores in the 59th minute, when he headed home following Surendra Balami’s cross from the left flank. Raj Kumar Ghising snatched the winner for Sankata in the 63rd minute. Fed by skipper Dangol, Ghising dribbled past a defender and found the net through the legs of RCT goalkeeper Dilip Chhetry. “My boys played well today, but they came under pressure after scoring when they opted defensive strategy,” said Sankata coach Puspa Pradhan. “We feel the absence of Raj Kumar KC,” he added. KC is suspended for four matches — one for double yellow and three for the red card for involving in an on-field scuffle with Three Star’s Pradeep Maharjan. Despite the loss, RCT coach Baiju Kapali was happy with the players’ performance. “Three of our attempts hit the posts, and we conceded the first goal after our goalkeeper (Dilip Chhetry) failed to judge the ball that was in his range,” he said. “Overall, they played well,” he added.

“Our defence line has been weakened by the absence of injured skipper Madhu Karki,” said Kapali. Asked about the chances of finishing in the super six as claimed by the coach before the league, Kapali said that he was confident of meeting the target.

“Madhu Karki will return after one or two matches and there are still 22 matches to be played. Our other injured players — Mohan Gurung, Ashok Gurung and Sushil Bhadra — will also return for the second-leg matches,” he said.

Today’s matches

Nabil Three Star vs Jawalakhel Youth Club @ 1:30pm

Mahendra Police Club vs Friends’ Club @ 3:30pm