Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League heading toward a thrilling closureWhile three title contenders are separated by a point, the race for being safe from relegation is equally intense.
With only four more rounds to be played, the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League is heading toward a thrilling finale with the clubs at a close distance of each other, both at the top and bottom halves.
Tribhuvan Army Club remain at the top of the team standings with 20 points from nine matches, a single point ahead of contenders Machhindra, who are placed second and defending champions, Manang Marshyangdi, in the third spot.
The record eight-time champions, Manang, who are level at 19 points with second-placed Machhindra Club, are third in the standings on disciplinary grounds. Both sides, who played out a 2-2 draw, have an identical goal difference—having scored 13 and conceded five.
The defending champions, MMC, are the only unbeaten team in the league this season. They have won five and drawn four of their nine matches. The Army team, who are aiming for their first league success in history, had suffered their only defeat of the season against Manang.
Army team’s coach, Nabin Neupane, is optimistic about his team's title aspirations, "We are inching closer to making history, only four more steps remain for us."
Meanwhile, the New Road Team find themselves fourth on the table with 15 points, while four-time champions, Three Star are placed fifth with 14 points. Despite having an equal 14 points, Nepal Police Club are in the sixth position, on goal difference.
Three Star’s coach, Megh Raj KC, has, however, ruled out his team's title hopes, "We are now out of the title race, our focus is now toward cementing the place in the top six."
Jawalakhel Youth and Sankata have 12 points each and are placed seventh and eighth respectively, while the Friends are ninth with 11 points. Only five points separate the bottom five teams. Chyasal are in the 10th spot with 9 points, while Saraswoti Youth are at the bottom, placed 14th with four points, only a point behind Armed Police Force, who are in the 13th spot.
Saraswoti have a tough fight against Three Star in the first match on Saturday, slated for a noon kick-off. In the second game, Armed Police Force will take on Machhindra in the 3pm kick-off.
Himalayan Sherpa, who have seven points, will play the eighth-placed Sankata in Sunday's first match, which would be followed by a clash of departmental teams, Nepal Police and Army. On Monday, the seventh-placed Jawalakhel Youth take on 11th ranked Brigade Boys, while Manang will play Chyasal. In the only match on Tuesday, New Road Team would get to lock horns with Friends Club.
Santosh Sahukhala (Chyasal) 6
Aashish Lama (APF) 5
Bimal Rana (Manang) 4
Uttam Rai (Friends) 4
Suman Lama (Police) 4
Nawayug Shrestha (Army) 4