The Rising climb on top of futsal leagueThe Dharan-based team join leader Sports Castle of Pokhara with a 5-3 victory over Dhuku.
The Rising Club edged Dhuku Futsal Hub 5-3 to climb atop the 'A Division National Futsal League while Sabin Memorial FC missed a chance to go joint top as they were stunned 5-4 by Futsal 5 at the Pokhara covered hall on Tuesday.
The Dharan-based Rising overturned an 1-0 deficit to register fourth victory and join leaders Sports Castle of Pokhara on 13 points. However, Sports Castle have a match advantage over the Rising and could overtake them if they beat bottom placed Jharana SC on Wednesday. Dhuku are second from the bottom with four points from a win and a draw.
Home City's Sabin Memorial could also have joined leaders with a victory but the outcome meant they dropped three spots to sixth from third position. They have 10 points from six matches while Dharan’s Futsal 5 climbed to second with 11 points.
Dhuku took a lead in the first half and went into the break with a 1-0 cushion only for Hemanta Thapa Magar to restore parity in the second half. Milan Rai struck two late goals for Rising while Sudip Gurung and Bibek Rai were also on the scoresheet. Apart from Lama, Prasiddha Magar and Abhay Rana netted for Dhuku.
"The match went as per our game plan. The victory will definitely boost our chance of finishing among the top four," said Rising coach Yubendra Gurung. "Injury of our goalkeeper has been our major concern. If he had been fully fit we could have won by a better goal margin."
His Dhuku counterpart Raj Maharjan seemed worried about the outcome. "The defeat is really painful and now we face the relegation threat. We are already out of the title race and worry that we may not be able to avoid relegation," said Maharjan who again pointed out flaws on the referee’s part. "We feel the referee made a biased decision. We will watch the video replay and file a complaint."
In the late match, Futsal 5 overcame an early deficit of two goals to beat Sabin Memorial. Bijay Shrestha and Prabesh Joshi struck twice each for the Dharan side after Ranjit Gurung netted their first goal. Abhinash Tamang scored a brace for Sabin Memorial while Manoj Gurung and captain Anup Rana Magar scored one each.
Futsal 5 coach Biswas Lama said that victory over home city's team has lifted the confidence of his side. "We are yet to play against a tough team in our remaining matches. But we are hopeful for a good performance because we beat the home team despite playing under crowd pressure," he said.
Sabin Memorial coach Rajendra Tamang said that inexperience and overconfidence of his players cost them. "We played as a team in the first half, but the second half did not go well and we do not have players capable of taking leadership on the pitch," said Tamang.