Lalitpur, September 17
Navayug Shrestha scored a hat-trick as Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) registered a 3-0 victory over Nepal Police Club (NPC) in the Red Bull National League here on Thursday.
TAC moved to third with 14 points from eight matches, while NPC remained unchanged at seventh with seven points. This is NPC’s fourth loss of the league.
In the match played at the ANFA Complex grounds, man-of-the-match Shrestha opened the scoring for TAC in the 15th minute. Shrestha scored through a header after NPC goalie Roshan Khadka failed to read Hiranya Magar’s curling cross.
TAC were more charged up after the break and Shrestha doubled the tally in the 65th minute when he slotted home from close following a pass from skipper Bharat Khawas. Shrestha completed his hat-trick in the fourth minute of the injury time. Fed by Santosh Tamang from the centre of the pitch, Shrestha controlled the ball and chipped over advancing NPC goalkeeper Khadka.
NPC were without Rabin Shrestha, Ritesh Thapa, Bhola Silwal and Jumanu Rai — all injured during the national duty, while Suman Subedi has been ruled out after he got head injury during their previous match against Manang Marshyangdi Club.
TAC coach Megh Raj KC said the team took full advantage of the depleted opponents. “The departmental derby is always a fight of prestige. Boys performed well in the artificial turf as they are not used to playing on such surface,” said KC, adding it was too early to speak about the title race. NPC coach
Birat Krishna Shrestha said that injuries of the players cost them the match. “We had to gamble in the match as we do not have fit players. We could not minimise our mistakes, while TAC took hold of the match,” he added.
Ruslan Three Star Club will take on Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club on Friday.
A version of this article appears in print on September 18, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.