NRT beat lacklustre Nepal Police Club 1-0; Chyasal, APF share pointsDarshan Gurung scored the solitary goal as Police were far from their usual self.
A second-half strike from Darshan Gurung gave New Road Team a 1-0 win over Nepal Police Club in their Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League match at the Dashrath Stadium on Monday.
There were very few memorable moments for the spectators in the match with neither side showing clear attacking intent. However, NRT made the most of their rare opportunity against the departmental side which trains round the year. Apart from the departmental sides, few clubs have their own training grounds and dedicated facilities.
After a forgetful first half, Police came close to scoring early in the second half through Man Bahadur Pariyar. However, NRT midfielder Arik Bista was positioned at the right place at the right time to deny their opponents a lead through a goal-line clearance.
Gurung then comfortably collected a pass from Rajesh Pariyar before making no mistake to put the ball past Police custodian Shatrughan Chaudhary in the 76th minute.
The departmental side had an opportunity to equalise late into added time. However, a long-range effort from Anjan Rai ricocheted off the bar. The defeat saw them drop to seventh with eight points, a place below NRT on goal difference.
Police coach Ananta Raj Thapa did not hold anything back in criticising his 'key' players. "I cannot believe that we lost today! Our star players were invisible in the match, this is simply unacceptable," he said.
"We have to review this [match] over and over again. I was thinking of winning the title before this disastrous performance. But now, such absence of zeal might even find us in the relegation zone," Thapa said. "It was a must-win match for us, but I found it to be our worst performance this season."
Despite enjoying better possession in the match, Police were found wanting in the completion of passes and shooting accuracy.
NRT coach Raju Kaji Shakya was content with the hard-fought win. "We did not play well, but we are happy with the three points," said the former Nepal captain and coach. "We have not been able to perform to the level we expect.”
With the win, NRT have jumped three places to sixth in the standings with eight points. NRT, who have won three matches and drawn one in their six matches, were docked two points for finishing at the bottom in the league last season which did not have a provision of relegation.
The second match of the day between Chyasal Youth Club and Armed Police Force ended in a goalless draw. Tribhuvan Army Club could go atop the table on Tuesday if they secure a win over Sankata Club at the Dashrath Stadium. The match kicks off at 3pm.