Police beat Friends to secure top-six finish in leagueVeteran Jumanu Rai scores second-half hat-trick to seal 3-0 win. Sankata sign off with 6-2 win over relegated Saraswoti.
A hat-trick from Jumanu Rai gave Nepal Police Club a 3-0 win over Friends Club on Thursday as the departmental team secured a top-six finish in the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League.
The win lifted Police one spot up to fifth with 20 points. But they could drop to sixth if Jawalakhel Youth Club beat holders Manang Marshyangdi on Friday. Friends finished in 10th position with 14 points.
Rai, who came on the 46th minute in place of Hemanta Shrestha, opened the scoring in the 49th minute. After an attempted save from Friends custodian Dev Limbu, the former Nepal international latched on to a loose ball and buried it into the net.
Rai doubled the advantage in the 56th minutes after being put through by Nir Kumar Rai and completed the hat-trick six minutes from time.
Police coach Ananta Tamang was delighted to have secured the top-six finish in the league. "Despite many ups and downs, we managed to finish inside top six positions," said Tamang, adding that Rai's performance was instrumental in his side's victory. "Our defence could not perform well in the whole league. We need to improve on that."
Friends Club coach Surka Tamang said that his side failed to carry the momentum of the first half into the second. "We have targeted top-six finish and it is disappointing to have missed out on that goal," Tamang said.
In the day’s late kick-off, Cameroonian Messouke Etiegnie Oloumou scored two early goals to set the tone for Sankata's convincing 6-2 win over Saraswoti. The victory saw Sankata finish seventh with 18 points in the standings. Saraswoti are left at the bottom with four points.
Oloumou opened Sankata’s scoring in the fifth minute and doubled the advantage in the 33rd. Suvash Gurung added another in the 37th as they went into the break with 3-0 cushion.
Tika Raj Gurung made it 4-0 nine minutes into the second half before Saraswoti defender Purna Bahadur Shrestha put the ball into his own goal in the 65th. Sankata's Cameroonian defender Tampi Earnest emulated Purna Bahadur in gifting a goal to the opposition two minutes later. Nigerian Kazeem Busari scored the second goal for the Kotewshwor-based outfit. Sankata completed the rout in the 83rd with sixth goal in the 83rd.
In another match, former Nepali international Bijay Gurung scored deep in the stoppage time to ensure Brigade Boys sign off with at least a point. The departmental team had taken a lead through Aashish Lama in the 44th minute.
Both the teams are level on nine points, but APF finished third from bottom, a place above Brigade Boys, on better goal difference.
Himalayan Sherpa vs NRT (0845 NST)
Three Star vs Chyasal (1215 NST)
Venue: ANFA Complex, Satdobato