Bista, Shrestha fire CBU to the summitA 2-1 victory over defending champions Machhindra moves Church Boys three points clear at the top.
Anjan Bista and Kamal Shrestha scored on either side of the half time as in-form Church Boys United saw off reigning champions Machhindra Club 2-1 to reclaim the top spot in the Martyrs Memorial A-Division League at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato, Lalitpur on Wednesday.
Jawalakhel had temporarily assumed the summit after defeating Himalayan Sherpa Club on Tuesday but league debutants CBU are refusing to give up their fight as they chase a historic title. They have 30 points from 16 matches—three clear of Jawalakhel, who have collected 27 points from equal games.
Three Star, who played a 1-1 draw against New Road Team, sit in the third position with 25 points.
Anjan Bista—the only Nepali player to score a hat-trick this season—put CBU in front in the 40th minute when his header from a Kamal Shrestha cross found the back of the net.
Omolaja Nurain Kareem equalised from the spot kick in the 64th minute after Franklin Kuete Talla brought down Andres Nia Tchounkeu inside the box.
But CBU grabbed the all-important goal in the 71st minute after a howler from Machhindra’s make-shift goalkeeper Pradip Bhandari, who put the ball into his own post while attempting to grab a corner kick from Shrestha. Bhandari had replaced regular goalie Bishal Shrestha, who missed the match due to sickness.
The defeat not only ended a revitalised Machhindra’s five-match unbeaten streak in the league but also dented their new-found hopes for successfully defending the crown as they are now six-points behind leaders CBU. Machhindra lie in fourth position with 24 points.
AFP beat Army
At the Dasharath Stadium, an instrumental performance by captain Nabin Lama inspired the Armed Police Force (APF) Club to a 3-0 victory over Tribhuvan Army Club.
Armand Beadoum put APF in front in the 41st minute. APF captain Lama set up Beadoum with a long defence-splitting pass and the Chad forward’s lobbed shot stung the advancing Army goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu before rolling into the net. Army’s Youdha Shahi pitched an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to make a goal-line clearance but to no avail.
Awas Lamichhane doubled APF’s lead in the 56th minute with a powerful strike from near the six-yard box after Army defenders failed to clear a shot from captain Lama.
Lama then showed his masterful footwork to bully a crowd of defenders, lined up the shot and drilled it low past the puzzled Army goalkeeper to wrap up the victory in the 62nd minute.
The win moved APF above Army in the sixth position with 22 points.