Three Star ease past Sherpa to pull off second winThe three-time champions overcome Yugal Kishor Rai’s side 2-0 to climb to fifth position in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League standings.
Two second half goals gave Three Star second win in a row as the three-time champions edged Himalayan Sherpa Club 2-0 in the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League at the Dasharath Stadium on Sunday.
An own goal by defender Amrit Shrestha, which the match referee awarded to Three Star forward Ritik Kumar Khadka, and a stoppage time strike by Liberian forward Ansumana Kromah became sufficient for the Patan-based team to pull their second victory in a row for the first time in the ongoing league.
The third win lifted Three Star, who made a sluggish start to their league campaign winning only one game from the first six, to the fifth position with 13 points replacing Sherpa. Sherpa, who saw their three-match winning streak come to an end, are two points behind Three Star at the sixth place after playing equal eight matches.
Sherpa looked a better side in the early moments dominating ball possession and piling pressure on Three Star defenders. They, however, failed to create clear scoring opportunities. Instead, it was Three Star who created a threatening move at the stroke of half time. Cameroonian defender Raphael Bidias Rim made a bouncing header from the crowded zone in midfielder Hemant Thapa Magar's corner before Sherpa custodian Deep Karki grabbed it.
Moments later Three Star forward Kromah ended up side netting from the area in a lofted pass by defender Ananta Tamang. Four minutes before the interval, the Nepali international defender's header in Thapa Magar's corner landed straight in goalie Karki's hands.
Sherpa's first real attack at Three Star's post came in the first half injury time but forward Purna Bahadur Gurung side netted just ahead from the six-yard box in Mutamba Pistone Vunyoli's pass.
Three Star broke the deadlock in the 57th as forward Khadka's feeble strike from a close range deflected on Shrestha's leg before the ball changed its course evading the diving custodian Deep Karki to enter the back of the net.
Sherpa's Kenyan forward Mutamba Vunyoli's sliding strike under tight marking in a defensive error was caught by diving goalie Priso Njanga. Three Star sealed the victory in the seventh minute of the 10-minute stoppage with Kromah, who played his second match after joining Three Star last week, getting on the scoresheet. The Liberian forward beat goalie Karki in a one-on-one situation after he collected a defence splitting pass from Laken Limbu, the 90th minute replacement of Ayush Ghalan.
"Getting on the scoresheet is vital in football and we missed scoring opportunities," Sherpa coach Yugal Kishor Rai said at the post match conference. "We had played well in the early moments but conceding an own goal was unfortunate. Overall the performance was satisfactory and we could have fought for top three positions had we won today. But it is over now."
Three Star coach Urjan Shrestha expressed satisfaction over the victory. "It seemed that we lacked coordination in the first half. But we played well after the break and got on the scoresheet," said Shrestha. "The team came into good shape after we recruited a foreigner (Kromah). The team could have been much better had we enrolled him earlier (beginning)."