Friends pull off a coup against Three StarA solitary goal from Brazilian forward De Carmo gives the Kupandole outfit their first win in the league this season.
A 13th-minute goal from Wagner de Carmo saw Friends Club cause a 1-0 upset win over Three Star Club in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League on Sunday.
The first win in the league this season saw Friends climb two places up to 11th in the standings with five points from six matches. They were lying just above the relegation-threatened Saraswoti Youth Club who earned their first point in the 14-team league after holding Brigade Boys to a goalless draw in the other match on Sunday.
Following the lacklustre performance against Friends, Three Star’s title aspirations have suffered a major dent. Their coach Megh Raj KC, however, put on a brave face, saying: “A win obviously would have kept us in the title race, but the points table does not really matter at this moment.”
“It was obvious from our performance that we did not live up to our standards. We failed in converting our chances,” KC added. “They scored from one of the two free headers they had. It was their day today and this is how football is.” The defeat leaves Three Star fourth in the table with 10 points, three behind leaders Machhindra.
Friends Club, smarting on their previous performances—they came into Sunday’s match with two draws and three defeats, completely dominated the first half. They could have found the back of the net on several occasions.
The second half, however, lacked the same intensity and De Carmo’s goal was the only difference between the sides at the end.
Soon after the Brazilian forward headed home to put Friends Club 1-0 up, both their team coach Marcus Dantas and manager Rabin Benjankar were booked alongside their substitute goalkeeper Sojit Gurung for getting into several arguments with the match officials.
The Brazilian coach was not amused with the way the match officials handled the match. The officials added nine minutes in the first half, followed by another seven in the second half.
Dantas said, “I apologise for being too aggressive at the touchline while issuing directives to my players. But that is the spirit coaches have.
“However, never in my managerial [coaching] career across three continents have I seen such officiating as regards additional time.”
He had previously coached in his native Brazil and in Sweden. He is the third coach to have criticised the standard of refereeing in the league.
He, however, was elated with the result after a much-improved show from his boys. “This victory is very important for us. The win against a very good team shows the evolution of Friends Club,” said Dantas. “We can only do better from here.”
New Road Team play Nepal Police Club in the opening match at the Dashrath Stadium on Monday, followed by a clash between Chyasal Youth Club and Armed Police Force.