Jawalakhel Youth Club’s Fode Fofana (center) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Friends Club at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato, Lalitpur on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: ANFA
KATHMANDU, Feb 9: Jawalakhel Youth Club climbed to the fifth place ahead of both Nepal Police Club and Sankata Club with a slender 1-0 win over 10-man Friends Club in the ongoing Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League in Lalitpur on Saturday.
Likewise, in the early kick-off, a brace from Bijay Shrestha helped struggler Himalayan Sherpa Club register a 3-2 win over Chyasal Youth Club as the winning team has avoided relegation this season.
In the late kick-off played at the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Complex in Satdobato, Fode Fofana scored the only goal of the game in a dominative attacking performance against a poor Friends side.
Jawalakhel dominated the possession from the start of the game and got a plenty of chances throughout the game, but could not convert them. It tried a lot of crosses inside the box, but was unable to get the contact right.
It got its first real chance through Rup Bahadur Lama, but his shot from inside the box was brilliantly saved by Friends keeper Dev Limbu in the 11th minute.
Jawalakhel did not press much in the first half and was not clinical with its chances. It could not create much in the first period because of good defensive pressure from Friends.
Friends got a chance to score the first goal of the game as Brazilian Saulo De Aquino hit a shot in the 42nd minute, but missed the target.
Jawalakhel got a chance in the second half in the 56th minute as Lama hit a shot from outside the box, but the effort was saved again by Friends keeper Limbu.
The team finally scored in the 58th minute as Fofana hit a right-footed shot into the right bottom corner and gave Jawalakhel a deserved lead.
Both the teams were not on their best and struggled in attack at times, but Jawalakhel pressed better in the second half and looked a bit clinical in attack than the first half.
Aquino was sent off for his foul on Adama Doumbia, while Friends’ Saroj Yonjan and Gautam Shrestha were yellow card for their behavior in the 62nd minute.
Friends was very poor in the game as it could not get even a shot on target. However, Uttam Rai got a chance as he chipped the ball to Shakti Rai, but he missed the target in the 77th minute.
Jawalakhel had another chance to double its lead as Sujit Budathoki’s shot in the eighth minute of the injury time hit the woodwork.
With the win, Jawalakhel is fifth with 18 points including five wins, three draws and three losses. Jawalakhel is the least goal conceding team (5) after the 11th round this season, while it is also second-lowest goal-scoring team (7).
Likewise, Friends is ninth with 14 points which includes four wins, two draws and five losses.
In the first game, Chyasal’s Hayato Wakino scored a brace, but it was not enough to deny a swift win for Himalayan Sherpa courtesy of a brace from Bijay Shrestha and a goal from Tridev Gurung.
Chyasal was the better of the two sides in terms of attacking as it had more shots, more shots on target and enjoyed the possession more than Himalayan Sherpa. But, once it got to a 3-1 deficit in the second half, there was little to no chance Chyasal would come back in the game, but it a goal back to make the score 3-2.
Stephene Samir displayed a superb footwork as he dribbled past the entire Chyasal defensive line. He hit a shot, but it was saved by goalkeeper Alan Neupane. The follow-up shot from Bijay went in for the first goal of the game in the 28th minute. Tridev Gurung doubled Himalayan Sherpa’s advantage in the 33rd minute as his long range volley went straight into the right bottom corner.
Japan’s Wakino pulled one back for Chyasal in the 38th minute as he converted in a corner from Muhammod Asif.
Chyasal started creating chances after chances and got real close to equalize in the game in the second half, but good defensive performance from Himalayan Sherpa denied it.
Himalayan Sherpa scored its third goal of the match in the 51st minute as Bijay converted a pass from Khamir Gilson brilliantly.
Wakino pulled another goal back to make the score 3-2, but it was too little, too late. The Japanese converted the shot into the left bottom corner.
Earlier, Santosh Saukhala hit a good shot looking for the top right corner of the post, but Himalayan Sherpa goalkeeper Kishor Giri saved the shot brilliantly. The shot coming from Santosh (CYC) on right top corner of the post was saved beautifully by goalie Kishor Giri (HSC).
With the win, Himalayan Sherpa is in the 11th place with 10 points and has two wins, four draws and five losses. Likewise, Chyasal is 10th with 12 points including three wins, three draws and five defeats.
On Sunday, Manang Marshyangdi Club will face New Road Team in its bid to reclaim its third position from Three Star Club, who beat Sankata Club 1-0 on Friday.