Pokhara's Sports Castle climb on topThe home city's team edge Machhindra Sky 8-3 to move two points clear atop the 'A' Division National Futsal League.
Home city's Sports Castle climbed on top of the 'A' Division National Futsal League with 8-3 victory over Machhindra Sky Goals while Prabhatpheri Youth Club pulled their first win defeating Lumbini Futsal 6-1 at the Pokhara covered hall on Monday.
With the completion of the fifth round, Sports Castle moved two points clear of the second placed Sankhamul Futsal of Kathmandu and could wrap up the title if they win their next four fixtures. They are yet to play against the bottom-placed Jharana Sports of Rupandehi, and Sabin Memorial of Pokhara and Dharan based sides Futsal 5 and The Rising Club.
They have won four matches and drawn one. Despite a convincing victory, Sports Castle deputy coach Arbin Gurung was not satisfied with his side's performance against Machhindra Sky. "We looked technically weak today," said Gurung. "We won because of the fighting spirit of the players and the outcome has eased pressure on us."
Khim Raj Gurung and Sumit Shrestha struck a brace each for Sports Castle who went into the break with a 1-0 lead. Kishor Gurung, Dipesh Ghale, Bijay Gurung and Bhison Gurung were also on the scoresheet for them. Machhindra Sky were gifted with an own goal from Yogesh Gurung besides one each from Major Rai and Divash Tandukar.
The Kathmandu-based side dropped one notch down to sixth position with as many points.
Machhindra Sky coach Ramesh Sinkeman blamed the wrong decision of the referee as the reason for his side’s defeat. "We had taken the lead, but the match referee ruled it out. But he allowed a similar type of goal scored by the opponents," fumed Sinkeman, adding that they would face a tough time to reach the top four now. "Now we must win the remaining four fixtures to keep our hopes of finishing in the top four alive and to make it to the qualifiers," he added.
Kathmandu-based Prabhatpheri pulled their first win of the campaign to climb out of the relegation zone. Dhiraj Joshi, Santalal Gurung, Bishal Saru Magar and Srijesh Puri scored before the break. Captain Aashish Dangal and Subil Shrestha were on target for Prabhatpheri in the second half while Rupan Baraili hit a consolation for Lumbini in the fading moments.
With the result, Prabhatpheri gathered four points and climbed to eighth position. Despite equal four points, Lumbini are ninth on goal difference.
"It was a much awaited three points for us as we required a win to boost the confidence of our players," said Prabhatpheri coach Saroj Thapa. "Though we climbed out of the relegation zone we are not safe and we will try to collect as many points as possible in the remaining games."
Lumbini, though wracked by injury and suspension woes, are optimistic about avoiding relegation.
"The game did not go as expected and we are plagued by injuries," said Lumbini coach Prajwol Shrestha. "We are under pressure because we have matches against strong opponents. We could hope for better outcomes if players gain fitness."
Meanwhile, bottom-placed Jharana Sports Club’s point drought continued as they succumbed to a 9-5 defeat against Futsal 5 of Dharan. They are yet to open an account and are one of the candidates for relegation. Futsal 5 climbed to fifth place with eight points after their victory over Jharana.
Futsal 5 captain Sandip Karki alone scored four goals while Ranjit Gurung struck two goals. Bishwojeet Rai, Sujan Khadka and Nirav Khadka also scored one each. Narayan Thapa Magar netted a hat-trick for Jharana while Ganga Gurung scored twice.