HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Tek Bahadur Budhathoki and Nawayug Shrestha scored as Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) defeated Yeti Himalayan Sherpa Club 2-0, while nine-man New Road Team (NRT) held McDowell’s Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) 1-1 in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull ‘A’ Division League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.
It was the first win for the Armymen after a goalless draw with Friends Club and a 1-0 deafeat to NRT. The results meant four teams — Machhindra, Manang Marshyangdi Club, NRT and RCT — have four points each with only goal difference separating them. Himalayan Sherpa, tied on four points with Armymen, dropped one spot down to ninth on head-to-head system.
Himalayan Sherpa coach Megh Raj KC said: “They (Army) were physically strong and played the entire match with the same pace.”
Armymen came close to scoring early in the fourth minute only for Himalayan Shepa goalkeeper Binaya Shrestha to block national team striker Bharat Khawas’ close header. However, It didn’t took long for the departmental team to score as Tek Bahadur then opened the scoring in the ninth minute. Tek Bahadur pounced on the opportunity firing home from inside the six yard box in a rebound off Binaya who had blocked Tanka Basnet’s initital shot.
Tanka Basnet should have doubled the tally for the Armymen but failed to beat the last man Binaya in the 24th minute. Himalayan Sherpa celebrated a 57th minute equalizer through Rupesh KC only for the FIFA Referee Sudish Pandey to rule it as offside. Any hopes of making a comeback ended when a horrible blunder from Binaya let TAC double their tally in the 79th minute. Binaya let a simple 30-yard Nawayug shot roll underneath his legs.
TAC coach Yogambar Suwal was pleased to see his team end the goal drought. “The team is showing a gradual improvements in all departments,” said Suwal.
In the second match, Dipesh Thapa Magar came off the bench to provide RCT the lead immediately after break. Dipesh, a 17th minute substitute for Shekhar Limbu, struck from the area in an acute long range pass off Komal Khawas three minutes after resumption. Dipesh has so far scored three goals, all as a substitute.
Goalkeeper Raju Yogi had done extremely well to keep NRT in the match denying Olawale Oladipo Afeez twice in the first half. NRT, however, suffered a major blow a minute before interval when defender Saheed Oluwashina Azeez received marching order for double bookable offense for a tackle on Affez.
Despite playing with a man down, NRT levelled the scores in the 75th minute. Sequn Akinade Eyitayo converted the spot kick after the forward was tripped by Nur Raj Kafle inside the area. NRT were reduced to nine-man when Rajin Dhimal was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Afeez in the 78th minute.
NRT coach Diken Suwal accused referees for their biased decisions. “Referees should
be impartial and should not be lenient against senior or the national team members,”
said Suwal. Suwal termed his side performance as the
worst so far. RCT coach Madhu Karki rued on the performance of his midfielders especially
after the break.