Jawalakhel shock MachhindraSimanta Thapa-led team fight back from one goal down to stun the defending champions 3-1. Army play a goalless draw with Sankata. Satdobato defeat New Road Team 2-1.
Jawalakhel Youth Club came from behind to stun defending champions Machhindra 3-1 to start their Martyrs Memorial A-Division League campaign in style at the Dasharath Stadium on Sunday.
Machhindra drew the first blood after Devendra Tamang scored a sensational free kick for the two-time winners in the 23rd minute.
But a determined Jawalakhel dealt an early blow to Machhindra’s ambitions to win the third successive title with three stunners after the break.
First, Hishub Thapaliya drilled home the equaliser in the 59th minute, confidently slotting past the goalie Bishal Shrestha after a good work from Fode Fofan in the midfield.
Machhindra came under pressure after conceding the equaliser and Jawalakhel took full advantage of it to further the lead five minutes later, thanks to a blunder from goalie Shrestha.
Shrestha failed to clear a back pass from Diwakar Chaudhary and Nkoto Synous Masoabi—whose first half effort was cleared by Ranjit Dhimal from the goalline—quickly volleyed over the helpless goalkeeper to leave Machhindra shell-shocked.
Jawalakhel captain Simanta Thapa, then, headed in a free kick from Hishub Thapaliya in the 76th minute to sum up a scintillating second half comeback.
The defeat also snapped Machhindra’s 19-run unbeaten streak in the league. Machhindra had not lost a single match in the 2020-21 season.
-Sankata, Army share spoils-
Sankata Club held departmental giants Tribhuvan to a goalless stalemate in a drab affair at the Dasharath Stadium.
The best chance of the first half fell to Sankata in the 32nd minute. Junior Onguene Nkengue intercepted a pass from Army defender Jitendra Karki, sprinted past two defenders into the penalty area but ended up firing wide.
Sunil Shrestha almost put Sankata in front nine minutes into the break with a double effort. He seized possession from Army defender Bikash Khawas and attempted a close range effort from a tight angle. Goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu saved the shot but lost possession of the ball which Shrestha quickly directed towards the goal but Deepak Gurung saved Army from early blushes with a goal line clearance.
Army were toothless and lacked precision and control after the break as well and wasted a golden opportunity in the fifth minute of the injury time. Second half substitute Ramesh Bhujel released Dinesh Hemjan into the penalty box with an almost perfect pass but Hemjan fired in haste and his tame shot was easily saved by Sankata goalkeeper Tikendra Singh Thapa.
“We could not execute our strategy. We need to improve our weaknesses. I hope our team will play better in the upcoming matches,” said Army assistant coach Raju Tamang.
Sankata coach Salyan Khadgi made peace with the draw.
“Our boys created many opportunities today but we are happy with the point,” said Khadgi.
“Ayush Galan missed today’s game but will be available next week. I expect result in the next matches,” he added.
-Satdobato beat NRT-
Dipak Raj Singh Thakuri scored a brace as Satdobato Youth Club beat New Road Team 2-1 at the Chyasal Stadium.
Thakuri gave Satdobato the lead in the 45th minute but Nicolas Serge Song equalised in the added minutes.
But Thakuri responded with a late effort to give Satdobato a flying start.