Army rout Chaudandigadhi with nine goalsThe win puts the departmental side only two points away from leaders APF, who have 18 points having played a game less.
Rashmi Ghising netted four goals and Sharmila Thapa scored a brace as Tribhuvan Army Club crushed Chaudandigadhi Municipality 9-0 in the National Women’s Football League on Saturday.
Two days after demolishing the bottom side 12-0 on the final day of the first leg, Army looked confident at the ANFA Complex but could not find the opener until Ghising did the job in a counter-attack in the 19th minute.
Sharmila Thapa released Ghising on the left just inside of the Chaudandigadhi half, who picked the ball following a superb sprint and ran into the penalty area before composedly finishing a right-footed low shot into the right-bottom corner.
This opened the floodgates on a rainy day, with Thapa doubling the lead four minutes later. Ghising found Thapa in a cross and the unmarked striker comfortably flashed past goalkeeper Sabita Tamang from six yard out.
Thapa added another in the 40th minute. Ghising set up Thapa in the penalty area following a corner, whose shot hit the goalkeeper before bending into the bottom corner.
The departmental side were more aggressive after the break as the rout continued against a depleted side who had already conceded a combined 63 goals in the first half of the season.
It was Ghising finding the net again in the 55th minute with a solo effort—before adding two more in the 63rd and 66th minutes. She combined with Thapa again, who set her up at the edge of the box and Ghising made no mistake. Three minutes later, Ghising made it 6-0 heading a corner from Bimala Chaudhary.
Bhujganga Rai replaced striker Thapa on the field and quickly got on the scoresheet with a fine free kick in the 81st minute after Chaudandigadhi defender Purnamaya Rai tripped Army midfielder Dipa Rai just outside the box.
Another second-half substitute Anjali Waiba wrapped up the scoring spree in a counterattack beating the advancing goalkeeper in the 90th minute.
But it was not over yet as Army were gifted their ninth goal when Chaudandigadhi defender Aimit Lepcha scored an own goal while attempting to clear a cross from substitute Hema Chaudhary in the added time.
The scoreline is still inferior to their first leg shellacking of the rock-bottom club, but the win has put Army back in the hunt of leaders Armed Police Force Club who have 18 points and are only two points away at top with a game in hand.
“We deserved the win but the scoreline is not satisfactory,” said Army coach Raju Tamang. “Our players were in a hurry to get on the scoresheet. But today, Chaudandigadhi’s goalkeeping and defending were better. Our players should first create the chances and finish later,” he added.
Yet it is not an easy task for Army given the 2017-18 and the reigning champions are ruthlessly on the way to their fourth trophy with their unbeaten display scoring 43 goals in six games without letting in a single. The previous season was cancelled owing to the coronavirus.
Had this season been played in a single leg format like the previous ones, APF would have been only two wins away to be crowned champions. Fortunately, Army still have until March 19 to turn the tide into their favour, with their final match of the league drawn against the leaders APF.
Chaudandigadhi coach Dipak Thapa said their performance has improved.
“We have fielded new players and they are doing well. But they need more time,” said Thapa, whose side are still looking for a first win.
“We will give a more improved play in the upcoming matches,” he added.
On Sunday, third placed Biratnagar Metropolitan City will take on Chandrapur Municipality and Nepal Police Club will meet Waling Municipality at the same venue.