Gurung lifts NRT to sixth spotThe midfielder scores twice in the second half in a 2-0 victory over Jawalakhel Youth Club.
A second half brace from midfielder Darshan Gurung gave New Road Team (NRT) 2-0 victory over Jawalakhel Youth Club as they climbed two spots to sixth in the Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League at the Dasharath Stadium in Tripureshwar on Monday.
Gurung hit twice inside five minutes after the break for veteran Raju Kaji Shakya's side who registered their third victory in the last match of the league before the winter break.
The victory lifted NRT to sixth position with 19 points after nine matches while Jawalakhel, who faced third defeat, remained stable in the 10th place with eight points. They are four points ahead of the relegation zone. Machhindra Club lead the standings with 23 points.
The entertaining match saw Jawalakhel, playing in the absence of Ivorian defender Florent Koara due to Covid-19, dominate the first half and create early scoring opportunities before Onguna Junior ended up shooting high above the bar from 25-yard.
NRT squandered a golden scoring chance as Gurung ended up shooting wide in one-on-one with goalie Tikendra Singh Thapa inside the area after he found a perfect through pass of Krittish Ranta Chhunju.
In the first half stoppage time, Jawalakhel midfielder Rup Bahadur Lama's strike from the edge of area laid by Cameroonian forward Junior flew off the target after deflection on a NRT defender Andre Thiery Biyik Biyik.
In the early second half, NRT's Cameroonian forward ended up side-netting from the area fed by Sanam Limbu. Jawalakhel again came closer to scoring before midfielder Lama's free header from the six-yard box in Nicholas Fernandes cross sailed above the bar.
Gurung broke the deadlock in the 69th with an easy finish close from the penalty spot as he applied a low ball strike beating an offside trap leaving goalie Thapa clueless after he was set by Stephen Samir.
The midfielder doubled the advantage in the 73rd with his fourth goal of the league campaign. Gurung tapped from the close range to convert again, capitalising on Cameroonian forward Samir's cut back pass.
NRT coach Kishor KC pointed out that his side failed to give continuity to the first half's rhythm in the second half.
"NRT are tough opponents and we had set at least one point target against them. We were also successful until the first half but the boys seemed to forget the match rhythm," said KC. "They (NRT) made just two attempts on goal in the second half and were successful in converting them. But we lacked the killer instinct despite creating opportunities."
NRT coach Jeevan Sinkeman, who appeared at the post-match conference in place of head coach Raju Shakya, said that they were happy to grab important three points.
With four round matches to play, the league heads into winter beak. However, the football governing body ANFA has not announced when the event will resume.