Comfortable 3-1 win over Himalayan Sherpa puts Three Star thirdFour-time champions Stars dominate proceedings to add misery for Sherpas; 10 men Jawalakhel brush aside Armed Police by a solitary goal.
Three Star Club rose to the third spot in the Martyr’s Memorial 'A' Division League standings following an emphatic 3-1 win over Himalayan Sherpa Club at the Dashrath Stadium on Thursday.
The four-time champions took an early lead in the sixth minute as Sushil Rai converted from inside the 18-yard box off a chip pass served by Lal Rammavra.
Both the clubs then had their share of chances, but it was only in the additional time of the first half that the match saw its second goal. And it was an equaliser from Sherpa’s Stephane Samir. The Cameroonian defender put right-footed free-kick towards the top bin, leaving no chance for Three Star custodian Yves Priso.
Three Star immediately restored their lead a minute later through Sanjog Rai, whose right-footed attempt from inside 18 yards beat Sherpa’s keeper Kishor Giri.
Sherpa floundered from then on. They were sloppy from the start of the second half and conceded another goal in the 50th minute.
Three Star's Nigerian forward Hamzat Wasiu converted Nishan Khadka’s perfectly weighted pass that dissected Sherpa’s defence.
Three Star continued to cause trouble for Sherpa’s defence but failed to score. The match ended 3-1, with Three Star taking three points.
Three Star were definitely the better side, but they were still lacking in many departments.
Coach Megh Raj KC was also not content with his team's performance.
"The match lacked quality, to be honest. We earned the much-needed three points. However, we made several errors," he said.
"We have not been able to perform consistently. There are a lot of aspects we have yet to improve on. We must also look at the progress being made by our opponents."
Sherpa coach Sanjib Budhathoki blasted his players for not sticking to the plan.
"The boys lacked discipline today which did not help us. They were especially irresponsible in the second half and wasted several opportunities," he said.
Given his team’s lax performance, Budhathoki said that he could shake up the starting lineup for the next match.
Sherpa sit 11th in the league leaderboard, with only seven points earned from the last eight matches.
Meanwhile, Three Star sit at the third position with 14 points. They have a single point lead over the defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club, who have a game in hand.
In the other match of the day, Jawalakhel Youth Club, despite being reduced to 10 men, earned a 1-0 win over Armed Police Force.
Even after the match referee issued marching orders to Jawalakhel goalie Tekendra Thapa for handling the ball outside his area, the departmental side failed to take advantage of the situation.
APF conceded in the 71st minute as Jawalakhel’s Fode Fofana netted a wonderful first-touch goal. The Guinean forward's goal was adequate for Jawalakhel to emerge as the winning side.
After Thursday’s match, Jawalakhel are fifth in the table with 12 points while APF languish second from bottom with five points.