TSC climb to top, TAC rout Morang

Lalitpur, October 4

Ruslan Three Star Club (TSC) climbed to the top of the Red Bull National League table with a 5-0 victory over Jagadamba Lumbini FC, while Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) thrashed Morang FC 7-0 to move to second here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

TSC became the table toppers for the first time in the League with 26 points from 13 matches, while TAC are second with 24 points. Jhapa-XI fell down to third with 24 on head-to-head rules against the Armymen. Nepal APF Club are at the fourth position with 20 points and MMC are fifth with 19 points.

In a late kickoff, Jagjeet Shrestha and Olawale Afeez scored two goals each for Three Star, while Amar Dangol netted one as the Lalitpur-based team outplayed Lumbini. Olawale opened the scoring for TSC in the 29th minute following a pass from Jagjeet Shrestha, while Dangol doubled the tally in the 36th minute as he slammed home from close after being fed by Shrestha.

TSC put continued pressure on Lumbini defenders in the second half and they made it 3-0 in the 58th minute through Shrestha after he snatched the ball from Lumbini goalkeeper Dilip Chhetry before putting the ball into the nets. Olawale scored his second goal and team’s fourth in the 61st minute following a pass from Amar Dangol. Shrestha made it 5-0 with his second goal of the match in the 77th minute following a pass from Bijay Gurung.

TSC coach Rajendra Tamang was happy to be on the top of the table. “We want to continue with the momentum till the end and lift the title,” he added. Tamang said his team missed the services of skipper Sagar Thapa, who was suspended for using abusive language. “We missed him at the defence line but it doesn’t mean that the team cannot perform without him.”

Lumbini coach Yam Gurung said the team was not performing as a unit and hinted at making changes in the upcoming matches. “As we don’t have proper place for training, we are forced to train at the overcrowded Dasharath Stadium,” he said.

Earlier, TAC registered the biggest margin victory of the League, eclipsing MMC’s 6-0 win against Far-west. Nawayug Shrestha scored a hat-trick, while skipper Bharat Khawas netted two. Tek Bahadur Budhathoki and Tanka Basnet added a goal each for the winning side.

Skipper Khawas opened the scoring for TAC in the fourth minute before adding another in the 18th minute, both in rebounds. Khawas injured his right ankle after the goal and was substituted by Amrit Basnet. Tanka Basnet made it 3-0 in the 40th minute when he scored following a pass from Shrestha, who turned to be the scorer in the in the 49th minute after being fed by Raju Tamang.

Shrestha scored his second and team’s fifth goal in the 56th minute from the close range, while Budhathoki headed home in the 59th minute. Shrestha completed the rout with his second hat-trick of the league in the dying moments of the match.

TAC coach Chun Bahadur Thapa, who took charge in the absence of suspended Meghraj KC, was happy with the performance of the team. “We knew the game would be easy as the opponents were far beyond their standard. The forward line utilised the opportunities created by the team,” Thapa added.

Morang FC coach Kumar Pradhan said he found it hard to perform in the Astro Turf. “We were playing on the new surface and we also missed the services of two players Dona Thapa and Tshring Gurung, who are in the U-19 team,” said Pradhan.

On Monday, Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club will take on Jhapa-XI at the ANFA Complex grounds.