Saraswoti Youth relegated from top-flightThe Koteshwor-based club face the drop after losing 2-1 to Chyasal and Armed Police secure a 5-2 win over Friends; Machhindra go top.
Saraswoti Youth Club have been relegated from the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League after their 2-1 loss to Chyasal Youth Club and their closest rivals Armed Police Force secured a 5-2 win over Friends 5-2 at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato, Lalitpur, on Monday.
Kazeem Adegoke Busari's goal in added time reduced Saraswoti’s deficit to 2-1 after Taiga Nakamura and Hayato Wakino had scored in either half for Chyasal. However, the Nigerian forward's effort was no consolation for Saraswoti who head south to 'B' Division, making their last league match inconsequential. Saraswoti are at the bottom of the standings with only four points, four behind 13th-placed Armed Police Force.
The Japanese duo had both scored from dead-ball situations. Nakamura converted from a free-kick in the 18th minute before Wakino scored from a penalty awarded in the 66th minute after he was fell down by Andre Ekwem inside the area.
Saraswoti coach Pradip Nepal attributed the team's lack of finishing up front for their relegation. "I have been reiterating that despite being good in other areas, we lacked firepower at the front," he said. The Koteshwor-based club have scored only eight goals while conceding 30, ten more than the team with the next worst defence—Armed Police Force.
Earlier, riding on a couple of double strikes, Armed Police humbled Friends Club 5-2 to earn three crucial points to retain their spot in the top-flight. Aashish Lama netted twice in the first half, and Prabin Kumar Syangtan emulated that in the second to secure a comfortable win for the departmental team. Lama now leads the scorers’ list with eight goals, a goal above Chyasal's Santosh Sahukhala.
Trailing by 2-0 at half time, Friends Club returned with more attacking intent as Felipe De Sauza scored in the 69th minute. Two minutes later, Prabin Kumar Syangtan, however, restored the two-goal cushion for Armed Police. Bishwo Adhikari raised Friends’ hopes by drilling home a freekick in the 76th minute. But two goals in stoppage-time ensured all three points and their safety from relegation.
Lama boosted his chances of a return to the national squad, with a sterling display in the match. "I play every match with the objective of securing a win for the team. I am confident that I will get to represent Nepal again," said man-of-the-match Lama at the press meet that was snubbed by Friends coach and officials.
In the third match of the day, Machhindra earned a 3-1 win over Sankata to go top of the standings with 28 points. Tribhuvan Army, who have a game in hand, are two points adrift in second. Machhindra play Army in their last match of the season which will decide the winners.
Tribhuvan Army vs Brigade Boys (0845 NST)
Three Star vs NRT (1215 NST)
Nepal Police vs Manang Marshyangdi (1530 NST)
Venue: ANFA Complex, Satdobato