Defending champions Manang trample Saraswoti Youth for a 1-0 win in Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League football matchA solitary second-half goal from Rana helped Manang remain in contention for the coveted title; Sahukhala’s late goal puts Chyasal in the eighth position.
A solitary second-half goal from Bimal Rana helped Manang Marshyangdi earn a hard-fought 1-0 win over the relegation-threatened Saraswoti Youth Club in their Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League football match at the Dashrath Stadium on Friday.
Saraswoti, who appear to be deprived in their striking and defence, however, held the defending champions goalless, during the first half.
Bimal Rana, the Manang forward headed in to put the champions ahead, a minute after the game’s resumption in the second half.
Manang were the better side after finding themselves ahead. Their captain Kamal Shrestha's freekick could have doubled the lead in the 56th minute but it was punched away by Saraswoti custodian, Pradeep Bhandari.
Rana could have scored a brace, but his 66th-minute effort was yet again punched off by Bhandari before the match ended in a 1-0 win for Manang.
Saraswoti coach Pradip Nepal appreciated his team's efforts, despite the defeat. "We played very well against Manang. Holding them at a goalless draw in the first half was a massive effort from our boys."
"We conceded from a defensive error, but that's part of football," said Nepal. ‘If we had not conceded that goal, the results would have been different."
The Manang coach, Dhaneshwor Prajapati, was not happy with the win despite the three precious points earned by his team, "We expected to do a lot better. However, the boys were clearly not happy with their performance as they had a lot of missed passes and errors among themselves."
"The win, however, puts us close to the leaders, but it is apparent that we are behind the leaders," said Prajapati.
Meanwhile, an additional time goal from Santosh Sahukhala helped Chyasal Youth Club secure a 1-0 win over Brigade Boys Club in the second match of the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League on Friday.
Sahukhala converted an assist from Taiga Nakamura, just before the final whistle, to secure his team a precious three points. The goal also makes the former Nepal forward, the top-scoring player with six goals at the league, this season.
Brigade Boys coach, Arbin Gurung lamented at his side's failure to earn a draw with defensive football. "We played well throughout the regulation 90 minutes, but conceded a late goal."
Gurung added: "Despite holding them for so long, we gave away a late goal, which did not help us in our ambitions of earning a point. We will still play for a top-six position."
In quite a sharp contrast, the Chyasal coach, Bal Gopal Sahukhala, was elated over his side's achievement, "We were deserving of the win, and the camp is very happy with the three points."
"We will continue to improve our performance and our aim is to finish among the top half," Sahukhala added.