Misfiring CBU play 0-0 draw with 10-man MachhindraCBU missed their chance to leapfrog Satdobato on top but the newcomers will keep their unbeaten streak.
Church Boys United (CBU) and reigning champions Machhindra Club played a goalless stalemate in the Martyrs Memorial A-Division League at the Chyasal Stadium on Friday.
The draw means CBU missed their opportunity to leapfrog Satdobato Youth Club to the top of the 14-team standings but the newcomers will keep their unbeaten streak for another round.
For Machhindra—who are limping in the 12th position—it was another big blow to their defence of their A-Division League title and their hopes to become the only third team to win a third consecutive trophy after Ranipokhari Corner Team (1971-74) and Manang Marshyangdi Club (1986-89).
Machhindra have won only one of their five matches this season.
After losing their first two matches, Machhindra showed some signs of revival with a 2-1 win over rock bottom Nepal Police Club and a draw against Manang but the holders’ lack of gut was out in the open against a strong CBU.
But CBU’s honeymoon in the top tier league is also showing cracks—it was their second successive goalless draw—as they lacked the necessary firepower to capitalise on numerous opportunities.
CBU were more aggressive from the start against a toothless Machhindra in a one-sided affair and threatened their box in the 14th minute when Aashish Chaudhary danced past Tshring Gurung on the wing and cut back for Suvash Gurung but Machhindra defender Devendra Tamang reacted quickly to ward off the danger.
A minute later Machhindra’s Abishek Gurung acted in haste and fired wide.
Aashish Chaudhary troubled Machhindra defenders seconds later when he crossed for Suvash Gurung again but defender Tamang came to the rescue once more.
CBU wasted a golden chance to take the lead in the 27th minute when Aashish Chaudhary set up Ashish Chapagain inside the penalty but the latter, instead of connecting with unmarked Suvash Gurung, fired without consideration and over the bar.
Miscommunication in the front line cost CBU again a minute later as Suvash Gurung failed to link up with Ashish Chapagain, who had placed himself in a good position.
Machhindra’s chance came at the half hour mark when Abishek Gurung lifted a cross from Utsab Rai but CBU’s goalkeeper Guillaume Yves Priso stretched to block the effort.
Machhindra displayed their frustration when Pujan Uperkoti elbowed Jospeh Owusu Bempah to be sent off three minutes before the break.
CBU’s Aashish Chaudhary was in the thick of it again nine minutes after the break when he cut a perfect pass for Ashish Chapagain inside the six-yard box but Chapagain was too dizzy to react and watched himself let the games’ best opportunity slip away.
Machhindra came to life in the final minutes of the game but could not capitalise on a few chances.
Elsewhere, Jawalakhel defeated Three Star Club 1-0 at the ANFA Complex for their third straight victory thanks to a 19th minute winner from Nkoto Synous Masoabi.