‘A’ Division League: Three Star sees off JYC 2-0Two second half goals from defender Ranjit Dhimal gave Three Star Club a 2-0 victory over Jawalakhel Youth Club (JYC) as the Lalitpur-based outfits went level on points with leader Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato on Sunday.
Two second half goals from defender Ranjit Dhimal gave Three Star Club a 2-0 victory over Jawalakhel Youth Club (JYC) as the Lalitpur-based outfits went level on points with leader Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato on Sunday.
Dhimal scored the first goal from penalty spot and another from a freekick against the 10-man JYC. The outcome puts Three Star level on MMC with equal 18 points from seven matches but the latter has a match advantage over the for-mer. MMC holds top spot on head-to-head record. MMC had defeated Three Star 2-1.
In the early kickoff at the same venue, Nepal APF Club crushed Saraswati Youth Club 3-0 after Rup Bahadur Lama struck twice and Yubaraj Khadka added another. At the APF ground in Halchowk, Santa Bahadur Gurung scored a brace for Chyasal Youth Club in its 3-1 win over Friends Club. The result puts Chyasal and APF on seventh and eighth place with equal 10 points. Only the goal differ- ence separates the two teams. Saraswati is in ninth place with six points and Friends 10th with five points.
JYC, which has won only one match, took cautious approach playing with a single forward in Guinean Fode Fofana. It was successful in keeping Three Star at bay in first half and instead had itself a better chance on goal as early as sixth minute when its forward Fofana headed inches above bar in a Kuldeep Karki freekick.
But Three Star made the breakthrough seven minutes after resumption when it was awarded the spot kick. JYC defender Karki handed ball inside the area in a bid to block a strike from Sunil Bal. Dhimal stepped in to convert the resulting penalty. In the 63rd Nepali international for-ward Bal fired inches above bar from the left flank.
JYC went for an equaliser but was jolted when its reliable defender Kuldeep Karki was sent off for a foul on Ranjan Bista in the 70th min-ute. Karki tripped Bista just outside the area prompting referee Sudish Pandey to bran-dish a red card. Dhimal took the resulting freekick and scored at the far post leaving goalkeeper Takendra Thapa hardly anytime to react. With the goal, defender Dhimal took his goal tally to league-leading six. Anjan Bista of MMC is next on five goals.
“JYC parked the bus and made the backline crowded. They did not let us shoot a single ball in the first half,” said Three Star coach Meghraj KC. “But we were eventually able to breach their fortress in the second half,” added KC. JYC coach Raj Kumar KC crit-icised the referee’s decision to award a penalty against them. “We had played defensively well as per the team strategy but the referee wrongfully awarded the penalty to Three Star, which turned the game upside down,” said KC adding that opponents took them easi-ly in the first half.
In the early match, Rup Bahadur Lama put APF ahead in the 18th against Saraswati. He headed home a Shyam Nepali corner from the crowd-ed area. Forward Yubaraj Khadka doubled its advantage in the 43rd a solo effort as he sprinted with the ball from midfield before slammed into the nets. Lama sealed the vic-tory two minutes from time with a low drive from area after being set by Nepali.
At the Halchowk grounds Chyasal went ahead in the 11th minute through forward Santa Bahadur Gurung before Saraswati levelled the scores in the 20th minute through Bikash Lama. Skipper Devendra Tamang restored one goal cushion for Chyasal in the 55th minute before Gurung sealed victory with third goal in the 69th minute. Chyasal was without its influ-ential forward Santosh Sahukhala, who was serving a one-match suspension.
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