KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Army Club defeated Mahindra Bansbari Club 2-0 on Friday to move into the fifth position of the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division Football League while defending champion Nepal Police Club were held to a goalless draw by NIBL Friends Club.
In the early kick off at the Dasharath Stadium, Army dominated relegation threatened Bansbari through out the match. Deep Lama and Bharat Khawas scored a goal each to seal the match for Army.
Lama gave the first half lead to the departmental team in the 42nd minute. Tek Bahadur Budhathoki´s left-flank cross was deflected off Khawas leg in the crowded danger area and Lama scored from close range.
In the 75th minute, Bansbari goalkeeper Ajeet Prajapati blocked Budhathoki´s powerful shot but Khawas scored it in a rebound into the open net.
Earlier, Bansbari goalie Prajapati blocked a six-yard shot of unmarked Khawas, who had received Lama´s right wing cross, in the 12th minute.
Prajapati made a diving save of Tanka Basnet´s left foot shot in the 23rd minute. The Bansbari goalkeeper had denied Khawas, a national team forward, twice in the second half also.
Bansbari´s forward line never threatened Army defenders and could not produce any exciting moves in the entire match.
After the win, Army is in the fifth position with 14 points from eight matches while Bansbari is second from bottom with two points from eight matches.
Newly appointed Bansbari coach Dipesh Yonjan Lama, who replaced Hari Om Shrestha, said the club still had chances to avoid relegation. "We still have seven more matches and we are busy to set up our team formation," said Lama.
Army coach Yogambar Suwal said his side gained important three points from the match despite performing weaker than the previous occasions. "Performance sometimes depends on the opponents," said Suwal.
In the day´s late kick off, Friends Club played its fifth draw and this time against defending champion NPC.
Friends had a chance to take a lead as early as the 13th minute but Prakash Budhathoki missed a sitter. Unmarked Budhathoki received a cross from Ritesh Malla but headed above the bar from point blank range.
NPC goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa blocked an attempt of Diwas Gurung in a short pass of Malla in the 54th minute.
Then onwards, NPC dominated the game but could not score. Unmarked Chetan Ghimire´s feeble shot in a pass from Jumanu Rai didn´t bother Friends´ goalkeeper Bashir Ibrahim Toyin in the 66th minute.
In the 80th minute, substitute Bharat Shah´s shot rebounded from the bar as NPC proved to be unlucky. Ramesh Katuwal missed another chance in the 90th minute.
Friends Club was limited to 10 men in the injury time as Santosh Tamang received the marching order from referee Laba Khatri after his second booking.
Friends Club coach Sushil KC, who was taking charge of the team for the first time after replacing Dil Kaji Gurung, said his side put up improved performance on Friday. "We are yet to fill the gaps between senior and junior players but we still have a chance to finish in top eight," said KC.
NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said his side could not convert chances into goals and as usual this season, he cited injuries and illnesses behind his side´s failure to seal three points.
NPC has nine points from eight matches and is languishing in the ninth position. Friends Club, which has eight points from eight matches, is in the 10th position.
Two-match ban for Khadka, Lindeni
All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) has slapped a two-match ban on Ganesh Khadka of Yeti Himalayan Sherpa Club (HSC) and Mambo Lindeni of CMG Sankata Club for their ´unsporting behavior´.
According to a press statement issued by ANFA on Friday, the governing body of Nepali football took the decision to this effect after the two players got involved in a brawl during their Martyrs Memorial Red Bull ´A´ Division League Football match on Wednesday.
In addition to that, ANFA has also decided to fine Rs 10,000 each to the respective clubs of the two players. HSC official Diki Finzo Sherpa was also at the receiving end for entering the pitch and getting involved in the scuffle. He was handed a two-match ban from staying at the players´ box.
Meanwhile, ANFA has also warned Three Star Club´s Biraj Maharjan, who was found guilty of intentionally uprooting a flag at one of the corners of the field during a league match against NIBL Friends Club on December 2. Three Star was fined Rs 10,000 for the player´s unsporting behavior.
Another player of Three Star Club, Santosh Sahukhala, also got away with a warning for celebrating his goal in front of the opponents´ players´ box during Three Star´s league match against Madhyapur Youth Association on Thursday. Sahukhala was told not to repeat such actions, which would not go down well with the opponents, in the future.