Holders Manang edge past Jawalakhel to confirm a third-place finish, Three Star secure fourth positionA solitary goal from Nishan Limbu in the 75th minute was enough for Manang to pull off a victory in the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League, in Lalitpur.
Defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club confirmed a third place finish after a 1-0 win over Jawalakhel Youth Club while Three Star Club settled for a fourth position after their 2-0 win over Chyasal Youth Club in their last matches of the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League at the ANFA Complex, Satdobato on Friday.
A solitary goal from Nishan Limbu in the 75th minute was enough for Manang to pull off a victory, while second-half goals from the Indian recruit Lal Rammavra and Nepali international defender Ananta Tamang secured Three Star's win in the all-Lalitpur derbies.
The outcome of Friday’s matches meant holders Manang finished with 28 points. They could even climb to second place, if the leaders Tribhuvan Army Club inflict a five-goal margin defeat on Machhindra Club in the clash between the top two sides. But, that seems unlikely given the past record of Machhindra. Jawalakhel was reduced to sixth position with 19 points.
Three Star secured the fourth place with 26 points after signing off their league campaign with an eighth win. Chyasal finished ninth with 15 points.
Limbu made it a spectacular finish for Manang by converting Sushil Lama’s right flank cross and ensuring the defending champions finished in third place.
Manang's Nigerian coach Fuja Tope expressed satisfaction with his side's run in the league.
"The players performed really well in the league," he said, adding that the champions lost two to three matches due to the lack of seriousness of the players. He pointed out striker Bimal Rana as an emerging talent and informed that he would remain with their team for one year.
In another match, Rammavra broke the deadlock for Three Star in the 70th minute before setting the momentum for another goal. He headed Nishan Khadka's cross from the area to send the ball at the back of net. Three Star ensured they signed off with full points after Rammavra was fouled inside the area. Tamang converted the resulting penalty.
Three Star coach, Meghraj KC, was happy with his young guns’ performance in the league. "I think giving chances to young players is more important than getting a better position in the standings. And, we were largely successful in that,"said KC.
However, he signed off with a word of caution for Nepali football.
"Football will not improve as we will be busy only for the next two months in gold cups outside the capital. We don't have programs after that. We at least need to have a 10-month program."
Chyasal’s coach, Bal Gopal Sahukhala, lauded Three Star's performance and lamented the poor defense line up of his side. Sahukhala, who had set his sights on the title in the initial phase of the league, also questioned the mentality of the players. "We had big ambitions, but failed to achieve them due to the wrong mentality of certain players," he said.
The other fixture of the day saw the Himalayan Sherpa Club come from behind to edge past New Road Team, 2-1. Stephane Samir Deiubeni scored in the 41st minute to cancel Rajesh Pariyar's 31st minute lead for NRT.
Tridev Gurung was on target and scored the winner for Sherpas in the stoppage time.