Newcomers Khumaltar leave it late to stun FriendsMessouke Oloumou strikes in the 89th minute to give debutants Khumaltar a 1-0 victory in the Martyrs Memorial A-Division League opener.
Newcomers Khumaltar Youth Club made a flying start to their Martyrs Memorial A-Division League campaign defeating Friends Club 1-0 as the country’s premier league began at the Dasharath Stadium on Friday.
Cameroonian Messouke Oloumou rifled a shot past goalkeeper Raja Babu Thapa at the near post in the 89th minute after good work from captain Jaya Gurung to give Khumaltar win in their A-Division debut.
Oloumou had an early chance to put Khumaltar in front in the 17th minute when he ran into a long pass from Jaya Gurung inside the penalty box but ended up firing wide.
Friends quickly launched a counter attack. Dona Thapa linked up with Shyam Babu Kyapchhiki, who cut back across the goal for Prakash Budhathoki but the playmaker could not find the target.
Khumaltar almost went ahead in the 72nd minute from the free kick but Samir Binong’s curled effort from just outside the box hit the crossbar.
Oloumou was in the thick of things four minutes later. He made a surging run through the midfield and found Rajiv Lopchan, who sent a near perfect cross back for Cameroonian to steer a header but Friends goalie Raja Babu reacted quickly to save the ball.
But Oloumou finally broke the deadlock towards the end of second half as he picked up Gurung’s cross near the six yard box on the right, beat two defenders and sent a lightning left-footed shot into the net to punish Friends for their lacklustre display.
Friends desperately pushed for an equaliser in the dying seconds but second-half substitute Abhishek Chamlagain proved too strong for the last-ditch effort from Buddharaj Limbu and Dona.
Instead, it was Khumaltar who almost doubled their advantage when Oloumou dribbled past two defenders and set up an unmarked Lopchan but the forward lacked precision and was saved by Raja Babu.
On Saturday, Armed Police Force Club take on Three Star Club, Nepal Police Club face other debutants Church Boys, and Manang Marshyangdi Club lock horns with Himalayan Sherpa.