Five points separate top six teams as the title race is wide openLeaders Tribhuvan Army Club enjoy a three-point lead in the ‘A’ Division League, but tough fixtures await for the departmental team.
Only five points separate the top six teams in the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League after the end of the seventh round.
Tribhuvan Army Club have opened a three-point lead atop the standings after contenders Machhindra were handed a shock 2-0 defeat by Himalayan Sherpa Club and the defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club were held at a 2-2 draw by Three Star Club. While both Machhindra and Manang are tied at 13 points, Machhindra sit second in the league table on goal difference.
Meanwhile, last season’s bottom team, New Road Team are behind Manang in the fourth position with 11 points. Also with 11 points each, Three Star and Nepal Police Club are placed fifth and sixth in the table on goal difference.
The battle is close in the bottom seven positions with only four points separating the teams.
Runners up of the previous season, Sankata are in the seventh spot with nine points while Armed Police Force are 13th in the league with five points.
Saraswoti Youth Club, who have not won any of the last seven matches, sit at the bottom of the leaderboard. With one draw they have garnered just one point so far. If Saraswoti do not up their game, they could be relegated.
At the top, the Army side boast the best defensive record with only three goals conceded so far.
However, the departmental side have some tough fixtures ahead.
"It is certainly difficult to reach the top of the table. But, it is harder to sustain the position. We have yet to play against stronger sides, but we are optimistic about the future," Army coach Nabin Neupane said.
The eighth round of the league begins on Wednesday, as Machhindra take on Nepal Police Club in the only match scheduled for the day. Despite recruiting top players from several clubs, Machhindra have yet to stamp their authority on the league. They have won four, drawn two and lost one match so far.
Machhindra have no shortage of talented individual players, but the team have so far lacked cohesion.
Himalayan Sherpa, fresh from their win over Machhindra, play four-time champions Three Star in the first match on Thursday. The match will be followed by a clash between Jawalakhel Youth Club and Armed Police Force.
Record eight-time champions Manang would be thinking of extending their goal difference as they take on struggling Saraswoti Youth Club on Friday before Chyasal go head to head against Brigade Boys.
Leaders Army are scheduled to play NRT on Saturday prior to the clash between Friends Club and Sankata.