Police, Brigade share spoilsThe 1-1 draw between the clubs on the brink of relegation did little to raise their ambition of strengthening their positions on the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League standings.
Nepal Police Club and Brigade Boys Club, both of which are on the brink of relegation, could only do little to raise their ambition of strengthening their positions after they shared points playing a 1-1 draw in the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League at the Dasharath Stadium on Monday.
Police are two points ahead of the relegation zone with seven points at the completion of eighth rounds while Brigade border the relegation line with six points. Bottom two teams Chyasal Youth Club and Friends Club have five and three points respectively. The sides finishing at bottom two at the completion of the 13th round will be demoted to second division.
Police, the three times champions since the modern league's inception in the country, quickly overcame an early deficit to salvage a point against the fellow strugglers. Defender Buddha Bal Tamang restored parity in the fourth minute for the departmental team to cancel Roshan Rana Magar's lead two minutes into the game.
The result, however, left coach and the team's legendary player Ananta Raj Thapa frustrated. Thapa, the crucial member of the Police team that won all three league titles in a row in the 2006-07, 2010 and 2011, dismissed the legacy of the departmental team.
"This is modern football. Recalling that we have won titles in the past and we are contenders now too is not going to help us," said Thapa. "The most important aspect is performance on the field."
He also expressed dissatisfaction over the departmental team's reluctance in hiring foreign players. "All teams have recruited foreign players and they have been very effective in the game. Now, we also need to hire foreign players in the squad," added Tamang.
Earlier, fellow departmental team APF FC became the first squad of the force when they recruited Japanese goalie Kuriyama Yuya and Malian defender Adama Doumbia in the middle of the current season fearing relegation.
"We are also under relegation pressure. Our strategy was to snatch three points from the team below us on the table, or if not then not to concede three points," he said.
Despite starting with four overseas players, Brigade could not realise their ambition of collecting three points. "Three points was vital for us to ease relegation pressure but we failed to hold on to our early lead," said Brigade coach Sanoj Shrestha.
Brigade started with veteran forward Anil Gurung and took the lead in the second minute through Rana Magar. The forward applied finishing touch from a close range, capitalising on a defensive error of Anjan Rai. The Police defender failed to clear goalkeeper Satrughan Chaudhary's rebounder off Sishir Lekhi strike.
But Police restored parity two minutes later as defender Tamang's low freekick entered the back of the net leaving Indian goalie Gurpreet Singh stunned. Police came closer to scoring at the stroke of half time when Nir Kumar Rai's strike rebounded smashing the inner edge of the bar. Brigade also faced a similar situation in the late second half as Cameroonian midfielder Rudy Jonathan's strike rattled on the crossbar.
The ninth round of the action will begin Friday.