Four teams tied on top of table as NRT, RCT share points
KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Four teams were tied at the top of league table Monday after nine men New Road Team (NRT) salvaged 1-1 draw with McDowell´s Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT) in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division Football League at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.
The result also put a break on the winning streaks of RCT and NRT -- the only two remaining teams with cent percent winning streak in the league at the end of third round.
With equal seven points as that of leader Machhindra and second placed Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), NRT and RCT are placed third and fourth on the basis of goal differences. NRT went ahead of RCT because it has scored more goals.
Player of NRT Rajin Dhimal (Blue) tackles player of Rajin Dhimal of NRT tackles RCT´s Oladipo Olawale Afeez l. Dhimal was sent-off for the offence. (Photo: Bikash Karki)
On Monday, RCT squandered the chance of taking the sole lead as it failed to take advantage of playing with two more players. NRT hit back the equalizer in the 75th minute through penalty awarded after Noor Raj Kafle fouled Sequn Akinade Eyitayo in the area. The Nigerian player converted the penalty to cancel RCT´s lead taken three minutes into second half through Dipesh Thapa Magar. Eyitayo is now the highest scorer in the league so far with 4 goals.
Thapa Magar, a 17th minute replacement of Shekhar Limbu, had given the lead to RCT with a quick strike from the inner edge of area after controlling a pass of Komal Khawas.
NRT was reduced to 10 men a minute before the interval after referee Srawan Lama flashed second yellow card to Nigerian Saheed Oluwasina Azeez for foul on Oladipo Olawale Afeez.
NRT´s woes continued after defender Rajin Dhimal, the last man, was given straight red card in the 78th minutes for bringing down Afeez at the edge of the box. However, NRT put up valiant show and denied RCT from scoring.
Afeez could have restored RCT´s lead in the 88th minute but fired wide from close range after beating two defenders.
"We failed to take the advantage of NRT short of two-men," Madhu Karki, RCT coach said at the post match conference adding, "After getting early score in the second half the midfielders did not perform well. However, I am satisfied with the performance as we got one point from a strong opponent."
Earlier, NRT custodian Raju Yogi had denied Komal Khawas and Afeez during the first half. Unlike RCT, NRT failed to make dangerous shot on goal.
KC´s counterpart Diken Suwal of NRT was furious with different treatment to players of different teams. "There is no uniformity in referee´s decision, every team should be treated equally and there must be uniformity in referee´s decision," said Suwal referring that referees favored Three Star club during its match against Friends Club on Sunday.
Army registers first win
In the day´s kick off match, Nepal Army Club defeated Yeti Airlines Himalayan Sherpa Club 2-0 to achieve its first win in the league. Tek Bahadur Budathoki and Nawayug Shrestha scored in either half for the departmental team that climbed three spots up to ninth in the points table.
With a draw, defeat and a win Army has four points, same as that of Sherpa whose position remained unchanged at 8th place.
Army dominated the show from the beginning to end and created about half a dozens of moves. After Bharat Khawas´ header was denied by goalie Binay Shrestha in the fourth minute, Budathoki put the departmental team ahead five minutes later. Budathoki pounced on the ball that rebounded off goalie to score the army´s first goal of the game.
Nawayug Shrestha doubled the tally in the 75th minute when his low shot from the edge of the box entered the net.
In the 24th minute, Tanka Basnet failed to beat custodian in one-versus-one situation. In the 40th minute unmarked Deep Lama fired wide from the area in back pass of Basnet.
"The foreigner players were not fit as well as they have not set with the team," Sherpa coach Meghraj KC commented during the post match conference. He defended his custodian´s blunder in the second goal. "Mistakes happen in football. Other players´ mistake can be covered but goalie´s mistake can´t be."
Army coach Yogembar Suwal said the team will be better in the future. "We missed many chances and confidence level of players is yet to rise," Suwal said.
Tuesday´s Matches Machhindra VS APF @ 12:30 NST
Police Vs Saraswati @ 14:30 NST