Chitwan squander two-goal cushion before playing 2-2 draw with Butwal-Lumbini


Pokhara Thunders defeated Biratnagar City Football Club 1-0, while FC Chitwan and Butwal Lumbini FC played a 2-2 draw in the Khukri Nepal Super League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

Nawayug Shrestha scored the solitary goal in the evening encounter as Chitwan earned full three points against Biratnagar.

After a goalless first half, the national team striker Shrestha headed home following a free kick from Moussa Abba in the 83rd minute.

Earlier, Pokhara came close to opening the scores in the 11th minute but Abba shot over the bar in one-on-one situation with Biratnagar goalkeeper Kishor Giri, while Biratnagar's Pedro Javier Manzi Cruz shot wide off the post after beating Pokhara custodian Deep Karki in the 44th minute.

Pokhara were unlucky in the 61st minute when Ravi Paswan's powerful strike from outside the box rebounded off the cross bar. Goalscorer Nawayug Shrestha was named the man of the match, while his Pokhara Thunders teammate Nitin Thapa was adjudged the emerging player.

In the day's first match, Chitwan squandered a 2-0 lead over Butwal-Lumbini and were forced to share points in the second consecutive match. George Prince Karki and Tek Bahadur Budhathoki put Chitwan 2-0 ahead inside 18 minute before Ashish Lama and Laxman Ruchal scored on either half to level the scores for Butwal-Lumbini, who had defeated Pokhara 2-0 in their first match.

Karki put Chitwan ahead in the 14th minute when he slotted home close range after Butwal-Lumbini defender Omalaja Nuren Karim failed to clear Goran Jarkovic's pass towards Karki. Budhathoki doubled the tally four minutes later in his second after Simanta Thapa blocked his initial attempt following a cross from Simanta Thapa.

Lama reduced the deficit in the 32nd minute with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty box, while Ruchal scored the equaliser in an open net after Chitwan goalkeeper Bishal Sunar misjudged Biraj Maharjan's cross.

On Thursday, Lalitpur City FC will take on Dhangadhi FC.

A total of seven teams are taking part in the first-ever franchise-based football tournament organised by Nepal Sports and Event Management Pvt Ltd under the sponsorship of Khukri.

The winners of the tournament will be richer by Rs 3.5 million, while the runners-up will get Rs 1.5 million.

The best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and emerging player of the tournament will get Rs 100,000 each. Man-of-the-match and emerging player in each game will receive Rs 25,000 and 10,000 respectively.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 29, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.