KATHMANDU, May 25: A lone goal from Danish striker Shayan Mosavi helped Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) come atop the standings of the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull A Division League Tournament as it registered a hard fought 1-0 win over Nepal Army Club at the Dasharath Stadium.
Mosavi´s goal came during the second minute of the first half injury time which turned out to be the match decider. Mosavi quickly made a powerful finishing from the box in a pass of Sarbendra Shrestha to stun Army goalie Bikash Malla.
Earlier in the day´s kickoff, defending champion Nepal Police Club registered a thumping 6-0 win over United Youth Club to maintain its winning streak.
The win lifts MMC to top of the table from third position with 16 points having played six matches while Police completing its fifth round match occupies the second spot with 15 points leapfrogging from the sixth place. Army with five points and United Youth with one point remained unchanged in the 10th and 16th places respectively.
Jumanu Rai netted twice for the police in the either half after Suraj Biswakarma had opened the scoring while Bharat Khawas and Shrestha brothers Yogesh and Deepen netted one each for the comprehensive victory.
With his twin goals on Wednesday, Rai also extended his lead in the top scorer goal list with 12 goals in his name.
Biswakarma made a header from near the goalline in a short pass set by Bharat Khawas off Yogesh Shrestha corner to score his first goal for the departmental giants after his enrollment in the team three years ago.
Rai doubled the tally in the 22nd minute when he made a one-touch finishing from box in a pass from Bhola Silwal. He netted his individual second goal and fourth goal for the team in the 66th minute when he smashed a powerful shot from box after beating two opponent players in the box. Khawas netted third in the 24th minute when he flicked a low ball cross from Yogesh through a diving header.
The fifth goal from Police came from Yogesh´s left flank strike in the 72nd minute while substitute Deepen netted the match killer two minutes from time in a pass of Ananta Thapa who was making his debut appearance in the league as a second half replacement of Jumanu Rai.
The departmental team dominated the match against the hapless United which is looking for its first win and failed to make a single post attack.
Police coach Birat Krishna Shrestha said that he achieved his target of winning the match and setting the team. “We still have vital matches to play as we have not played a single match against strong opponents,” Shrestha said. His counterpart Roshan Dangol of United said that his side´s only target was to concede few goals.
In another match, Army looking for its second victory failed to materialize it despite putting up impressive performance against the star studded MMC. Army surprisingly dominated the first half of the match and created a couple of scoring opportunities. But again repeated its clinical problem in finishing.
Tanka Basnet and Nawa Yug Shrestha of Army were denied by MMC goalie Bishal Shrestha in the first half. In the second half too, Shrestha´s header from box sailed inches above the bar and MMC custodian Shrestha against prevented Tanka Basnet´s shot.
Other than scoring, MMC could make only one impressive attack on post. Santosh Sahukhala´s attempt in free post went wide in the 79th minute.
“The boys could not play as per the team´s strategy in the first half,” MMC assistant coach Bal Gopal Maharjan said adding, “However, they came up with improved show in the second half. Our target was to achieve three points and we did it.”
Army coach Dambar Singh Gurung lauded his side´s performance. When asked why not his team was able to achieve victory in the last five matches he said, “The every opponent we have played so far other than Swayambhu are stronger and we are yet to face the weaker side.”
He also slammed the referee´s decision. “We should have been awarded penalty during the stoppage time when Tashi Tshering played foul to Tanka Basnet but the referee did not do so.”