Machhindra edge Sankata to climb third; APF fight backThe reigning champions pull off a 3-1 win while an injury time goal rescues a draw for APF.
Two-time defending champions Machhindra Club edged Sankata Club 3-1 to climb three spots up and cut their deficit to leaders Jawalakhel by three points in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League at the Dasharath Stadium, Tripureshwar, on Thursday.
Nepali international Devendra Tamang gave an early lead to the holders before forwards Olawale Afeez and Bimal Gharti Magar struck after the break. Junior Nkengue hit back the consolation for Sankata.
The fifth win after the completion of 14th round lifted Machhindra three spots up to fifth with 21 points, three points adrift of leaders Jawalakhel Youth Club. Sankata, who have collected only one point from the last five encounters, dropped one spot to 11th with 16 points in its kitty.
Defender Tamang slotted home the winner from a tight angle after he found a ball parried by goalie Tikendra Singh Thapa in his bid to deny midfielder Pujan Uperkoti’s strike from the crowded area in Yuta Suzuki’s corner.
The holders doubled the advantage in 69th minute through Nigerian striker Afeez who struck his ninth goal of the season and is two behind leading scorer Messouke Oloumou of Khumaltar. He collected a perfect pass from substitute Saurav Limbu inside the area and beat goalie Thapa with his low strike.
Cameroonian Junior Nkengue cut back the deficit for Sankata in the 78th heading in a Nishan Khadka’s pass after he was allowed a free header inside the zone. Machhindra had the last laugh after Gharti Magar wrapped up the victory one minute from time after he applied a low volley to convert Devendra Tamang’s freekick from their own half.
APF fight back for a 1-1 draw
Departmental side Nepal Armed Police Force netted the equaliser deep into the stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw against New Road Team at the artificial turf of ANFA in Satdobato, Lalitpur.
Mali forward Adama Doumbia struck the equaliser in the ninth minute of 11–minute injury period to pour cold water on NRT’s ambition of walking away with fifth win, instead they were held to fifth draw in the league. Lalnunzama had given the lead to NRT early in the second half.
Indian national Lalnunzama broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with a powerful free header after skipper Bikram Lama supplied a perfect pass. NRT thought they would walk away with three points before Doumbia headed a cross from Sanish Shrestha from the six-yard box.
The outcome lifted APF one spot up to seventh with 19 points in their account while NRT jumped two spots to ninth on 17 points.