APF stun NPC; MMC held
KATHMANDU, APR 09 – Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club stunned departmental rivals Nepal Police Club (NPC) 2-0 to move to second in the Red Bull National League at the Dashrath Stadium on Wednesday.
In the other match, Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) dropped one spot to third after a 1-1 draw with Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC). Only goal difference separates leaders Three Star with APF and MMC, who all have seven points from three games. TAC hold fifth position with six points from four matches.
In the day’s early kick off, Ranjan Bista’s double sank NPC who are yet to open their account after three games and lie bottom of the nine-team league. Bista provided APF the lead in the 10th minute and added another in the 55th minute. Bista pounced on a misunderstanding between Bhola Silwal and Suraj BK to score his first goal. Bista intercepted a Silwal back pass to BK and scored past helpless NPC custodian Ritesh Thapa. Bista added his second in a similar situation when Ajit Bhandari miss-passed the ball for Bista to add to his tally.
APF coach Krishna Thapa praised his side’s victory but was quick to add that
they were still not good enough to claim the title. “Even if its an early stages, we are not among the title contenders,” said Thapa. His NPC counterpart Birat Krishna Shrestha was at a loss for words. “Our training is smooth and have almost fully fit squad. I think the problem is psychological one after losing the first two games,” explained Shrestha.
In the second match a resilient TAC held MMC. who could have overtaken Three Star as league leaders with a victory. Bharat Khawas gave TAC an early fourth minute lead, slamming home a low shot from the edge of the area. TAC lead, however, lasted only nine minutes as Anil Gurung found space in a goal-mouth-melee to convert a bicycle kick into goal.
TAC coach Megh Raj KC lamented on the fact that his boys were unable to secure three points after putting on a good show. “We should have victory. But looking at it from another angle, its a fair result to have shared a point with one of the strongest opponents,” said KC.
MMC coach Raju Kaji Shakya said that his side is yet to be gelled as a unit. “Our boys also looked tired in the second half when we were thoroughly outplayed,” said Shakya. Lumbini FC host Morang Football Club in Butwal and Far-western FC play Jhapa XI in Dhangadi on Thursday.