KATHMANDU, Nov 28: Holder Nepal Police Club´s poor show continued in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division Football League on Wednesday as it slumped 2-0 defeat against Machhindra Club at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.
The second defeat in a row for Police meant the team was still looking for its first victory in the league leaving the departmental giant with only one point from three matches and was languishing in 14th position.
Police shared point with Madhyapur Youth Association in the opening game and lost its second match against Sankata 2-0.
Maintaining its unbeaten run, Machhindra went to the top of the league standings with seven points, a point more than second and third placed New Road Team (NRT) and Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT).
Injured Jumanu Rai in action.
Laxmi Shrestha and Bishal Rai B scored one goal each for Machhindra after the interval taking advantage of poor goalkeeping of Police custodian Ritesh Thapa. The win was second for Machhindra over Police in the league after 2062 BS league.
"We conceded both goals due to silly mistake of custodian Thapa," Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said during the post match conference. "It was a 50/50 match."
Machhindra, fielding three African as substitutes, broke the deadlock in the 66th minute when Laxmi Shrestha pounced on a loose ball to score after Police goalie Thapa failed to properly collect Karna Limbu´s low shot.
Rai B doubled the advantage in the 79th minute with a powerful free kick from the edge leaving custodian Thapa motionless. The free kick was awarded after Yogesh Shrestha fouled Bishal Rai A.
"The goalkeeper was not in the right position when we conceded a goal from the free kick," said coach Shrestha adding that his players missed some chances. "Though our performance was not bad, we could not score. It will now be difficult for us to make it into the top eight," said coach Shrestha who has guided Police to the last four league titles in a row. Shrestha however, said his side still had chances of defending title.
NRT players celebrate goal against Nepal Police.
The departmental giant created a couple of chance during the early moments. In the 9th minute Yogesh Shrestha headed inches above the bar from close range in Parbat Pandey´s cross. A minute later, Bhola Silwal´s right flank shot rebounded off the bar.
Machhindra too had early chances and in the 15th minute Bishal Rai B´s flick header was denied by diving custodian.
In the 52nd minute, Chetan Ghimire headed wide for Police from close range and in the 90th minute, Bharat Shah´s shot was well defended by Amar Subba.
Bishal Rai A squandered a chance to net a third goal when he fired wide from 25 yard in an unattended post after seizing the ball from advancing custodian Thapa.
"It was a must win match and we earned important points today," Machhindra coach Raju Shakya said during the post match conference. "We had advantage of opponent that was less confident after stunning results in first two matches."
Saraswati, Sankata share points
In the day´s kick off match, Simrik Saraswati Youth Club and CMG Club Sankata shared points playing 1-1 draw. Both the goals were scored through penalty.
Saraswati took the lead in the 27th minute through its Tanzanian forward Yona Elias Ndabila through penalty, awarded after Sankata defender Linadini Mbambo fouled Geofrey Bonny Nammandu.
Sankata cancelled the lead 10 minutes into second half through its skipper Salyan Khadgi to maintain its unbeaten run. Khadgi converted the penalty awarded after Anil Thapa Magar handled the ball in the area while vying with Sudip Limbu.
The result lifted sixth placed Sankata to fourth with five points while Saraswati climbed a spot to seventh position. Saraswati has four points.
Saraswati coach Dhruba KC, furious with his African defender Michael Ntisefe, blamed the player of not following his instruction. "I will leave him on the bench if he does not change his attitude in the next match," KC said. He was also dissatisfied with his forward for missing one-on-one charge with goalie.
In the 74th minute, Yona Elias Ndabila fired wide from the area with only Sankata goalie Ndoe Mbarga Pierre in his way. In the 50th minute, Pierre had denied Ndabila´s strike.
Sankata also missed an early scoring chance when Ritesh Khadka tapped wide from the six yard box in Sanjeev Karki cross.
Sankata coach Maheshwar Mulmi said that the level of both the teams were equal. He was happy with the team´s performance. "Three players of the team were injured and the forward Ritesh Khadka could not perform well," said Mulmi
Meanwhile, there won´t be any matches on Thursday and Friday as ANFA announced rest on those days.