Jawalakhel drop points against ManangThe leaders squander a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw and miss chance to open up a three-point lead at top.
Leaders Jawalakhel Youth Club missed their opportunity to stretch the gap on top of the Martyrs Memorial A-Division League after they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Manang Marshyangdi Club at the Chyasal Stadium in Lalitpur on Sunday.
Church Boys United’s 1-0 defeat against Tribhuvan Army Club on Saturday had given Jawalakhel the edge in the title race and the leaders seemed unstoppable when Nkoto Synous Masoabi and Hishub Thapaliya scored on either side of the half time to give them a two-goal cushion over Manang.
Masoabi gave Jawalakhel the lead in the 34th minute, taking advantage of an error from Manang goalkeeper Deep Karki, whose half-witted move to march outside the box and lack of confidence to deal with a through pass from Binod KC allowed the Lesotho forward to fire into the empty net.
Thapaliya doubled Jawalakhel’s advantage in the 75th minute with a simple tap after Fode Fofana squared for him inside the six-yard box.
But Bhison Gurung started the fightback in the 81st minute, volleying past Anish Deula after he was brilliantly set up by Koffi Timothee Koudo.
Sumit Shrestha stole the show in the first minute of the stoppage time with his left-footed stunner from the edge of the area.
The damaging draw moved Jawalakhel one point ahead of CBU, but the latter have played a match less and will lock horns against Satdobato Youth Club on May 16.
The odds could shift very soon with reigning champions and a revitalised Machhindra side steaming towards the top, collecting nine points from four matches and re-establishing themselves as title contenders. They have 27 points and have played a game less.
Manang are in seventh position with 22 points.
At the ANFA Complex, an unlucky New Road Team scored an own goal and missed a penalty to hand Friends Club a 2-2 draw that moved the latter up to the 11th position in a not-easy-to-predict relegation battle.
Friends went ahead in the 28th minute through Rafiq Aminu, but NRT went level after Amit Tamang conceded an own goal in the 58th minute.
Tamang, however, made amends in the 66th minute from the spot kick to put Friends back in the lead again.
Jean Anicet Mboumi had a golden opportunity to equalise from the penalty in the 80th minute, but threw away the chance.
But Nicolas Serge Song came to the rescue with one minute left, as NRT settled for a draw.
NRT now sit in the eighth position with 22 points.