Friends leave it late to beat New Road Team 2-0Sanjog Maharjan and Brazilian forward Wagner De Carmo strike over the course of three minutes to secure all three points.
Friends Club struck twice late in the second half for a 2-0 victory over New Road Team in their Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League match on Tuesday.
Both teams had their fair share of opportunities in the opening half, but poor finishing saw the session end in a goalless stalemate.
Sanjog Maharjan put Friends ahead in the 78th minute following a defensive error from NRT. His left-footed shot from inside the area landed into the bottom right corner. Wagner De Carmo then doubled their lead three minutes later. The Brazilian forward beat NRT custodian Ajit Prajapati with a right-footed shot to seal the match 2-0.
NRT coach Raju Kaji Shakya identified the defensive errors as the reason for his team's loss. "I am not satisfied with the performance of the boys today. It appeared they took the opponents lightly," said the former Nepal captain and coach. "We defended well in the first half, but made a few errors in the second and got punished."
"We have also been sloppy in our passing, giving the ball away easily for opposition forwards to score," Shakya said, adding, "We are simply not consistent."
"We have yet to play against Manang Marshyangdi, Three Star and Himalayan Sherpa. These are tough matches, but our aim of finishing inside the top six remains intact," he insisted. "At times, unexpected things happen in football, but we have to get over such mishaps and move on."
Marcus Dantos, the Friends Club’s Brazilian coach, appreciated his team's effort. "The evolution of our team this season has been quite something. Of late, we have been pulling off wins against strong teams. It’s all because of the boys’ concerted effort."
"Finally the team is playing to my strategies. The growing level of understanding among players is evident on the pitch," Dantos said. "When I initially arrived, our defence was leaking many goals. But there has been a marked improvement; we are not giving away goals easily. This is very important in football."
Tuesday’s win has lifted Friends to ninth place in the standings with 14 points from 10 matches while NRT are seventh with 15.