Army wins to close gap on ManangBharat Khawas struck twice as Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) beat Himalayan Sherpa Club 2-1 to reclaim second spot in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato on Sunday.
Bharat Khawas struck twice as Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) beat Himalayan Sherpa Club 2-1 to reclaim second spot in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato on Sunday.
The departmental team, who was held to 2-2 draw by bottom placed New Road Team (NRT) in the opening game, extended its unbeaten streak to five matches. In other fixtures of the day, Lalitpur-based teams Friends and Jawalakhel Youth Club (JYC) tasted first wins end the end of the fifth round. Friends netted all goals after the break to dispatch Machhindra Club 3-0 while a goal from a penalty spot gave JYC a much needed 1-0 victory over Brigade Boys Club (BBC) at the APF grounds in Halchowk.
The result lifted Army to second place with 13 points, two points adrift of leader Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) and one ahead of third-placed Three Star and Sankata Club. With first defeat of the league Sherpa remained stable on sixth place with equal 10 points with Nepal Police Club. Friends climbed to ninth from the 13th and Jawalakhel 10th, both on four points.
TAC showed attacking intent from the onset and frequently threatened Sherpa in the first half. Winger Tanka Basnet threatened Sherpa twice in the early exchanges. In the eighth minute a right-flank shot from Basnet forced Sherpa goalie Kishor Giri for a diving save and in the 23rd the winger ended up firing above bar from inside the area again.
Khawas wasted a golden chance in the 30th minute as he failed to tap in a cross from Basnet with goal at his mercy. Khawas, however, found the net in the 33rd when he was allowed a free header. Army’s teenager striker Dinesh Henjan also came close to scoring in the 39th minute only to see his attempt sail wide.
Sherpa striker Karna Limbu applied a powerful shot in the 48th minute but an alert goalie Bikesh Kuthu made a decent save. In the 59th Kuthu again punched Rabi Thapa Magar’s strike to safety. Khawas then doubled the Army’s advantage in the 85th after he was allowed to tap in Dinesh Henjan pass from close range. Sherpa’s foreign recruit Ulrich Siewe cut the deficit in the 87th with his solo effort, a well placed shot from the outer edge of the area.
“We went with a pressing game in the first half and were largely successful as we created several scoring chances. Only the finishing let us down,” said TAC coach Nabin Neupane. “We changed our tactics and opted to play defensive while looking out to score on counter attack. But we were not even successful in that as well and came under pressure late on,” added Neupane. Sherpa coach Subash Limbu also lamented on the missed chances despite his team producing better game after the break. “Despite the result, we are on course to achieve our target to finish inside Top 6,” said Limbu.
In the day’s early kick off, Friend’s foreign recruit Fofana Brahiman broke the deadlock in the 66th against Machhindra Club. Sanjog Maharjan made it 2-0 in the 84th before Anil Maharjan sealed the comprehensive victory scoring another in the stoppage time. At APF grounds in Halchowk, a 88th goal from Aruj Singh sealed victory for JYC. The league resumes after a day’s break on Tuesday.