-  Tuesday 02 March 2021

Three Star stays in hunt

 -  Kantipur

KATHMANDU,  Nabil Three Star Club kept its title hopes alive winning its second consecutive match in the second half of the league. The Patan-based club is now well set for the catching-up race after Tuesday's convincing 2-0 win over formidable Machhindra FC.
Breathing under the neck of Three Star is Armed Police Force (APF) following a hard-fought 2-1 win over under-performing Sankata Sports Club. Tribhuvan Army Club leads the table with 41 points followed by MPC (38), Three Star (32) and APF (31).

After strengthening its squad in the break, Machhindra was a team to beat. The New Road-based club created few lethal moves and possessed the ball longer than the bigwig earlier in the match but a silly mistake from its keeper Kiran Limbu let it down. In his desperate attempt to gather a cross from Pradeep Maharjan, Limbu allowed the ball to reach Vishan Gauchan who coolly guided the ball inside the nets to reduce the pressure on the 2004 league champions.

Despite trailing by a goal, Machhindra continued its attacking play. But the energetic side lost its vigor in the second half as both the sides failed to create that many moves in the second half. It was only in the 87th minute, that Three Star defender Anjan KC scored a stunning goal to seal the convincing win. KC controlled the ball at the edge with chest and connected a powerful shot past Limbu.

"We showed too much respect to them (Three Star)," Machhindra's Nigerian Coach Fuja told reporters. "In football, you should concentrate on your own game and play your best regardless of the opponents' status or profile," he added admitting that the midway injury of key player Bal Gopal Sahukhala was the main reason for its dip in performance in the second half. Sahukhala left the field midway after receiving a blow in his nose.

Three Star's captain said that the team had startes to find its groove in the second half of the league. "Now a lot more chances are being created and I hope we will increase the goalscoring rate in the upcoming matches," captain Surendra Tamang said.

Later, the same old story of not converting chances continued to mar Sankata as APF edged it 2-1 to stay fourth in the table. Former Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) captain Kumar Thapa created two as Santosh Sahukhala converted them for the winning side while striker Chetan Ghimire scored one for Sankata.

Santosh opened the account in the 30th minute when he received a thorough ball at the center. His brilliant rightfooter went through the arms of diving goalie Rupak Shrestha. Likewise, Santosh foiled an offside trap when he controlled a long Kumar Thapa cross to complete his brace in the 86th minute.

Sankata was unlucky as a fierce shot from goal-shy striker Bharat Khawas hit the cross-bar in the 81st minute. Later a similar shot from captain Bikash Singh Chhetri produced a goal as Chetan Ghimire headed home the rebound but it was too little too late with just a minute remaining in the match.

"They are good opponents and I take this result as an achievement," coach Dhurba KC of APF said adding that the team was going through a lean phase due to persistent injuries. The sides had shared points in the corresponding fixture with a 1-1 draw.

Three Star ----- 2

(Vishan Gauchan 17', Anjan KC 87')

Machhindra ----- 0

Adidas MoM: Diwas Rai (Machhindra)

APF ----- 2
(Santosh Sahukhala 30', 86')

Sankata ----- 1

(Chetan Ghimire 89')

Adidas MoM: Santosh Sahukhala (APF)

Today's Matches
MMC vs RCT @ 1230

NRT vs Friends' @ 1430


Other articles by reporter Kantipur

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