Three Star's title challenge suffers crucial blow

Published On: January 28, 2020 09:28 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: A goal from Bishal Rai and Rejin Subbha sealed a 2-0 win for Machhindra Club, while an early goal from Bhola Silwal gave the departmental team Nepal Police Club all three points against the Armed Police Force (APF) in the ongoing Martyr's Memorial 'A' Division League on Monday. 

The game began with an early shot for Three Star. Rupesh KC produced an excellent shot but that was stopped from Machhindra's keeper Bishal Shrestha. 

Three Star dominated the game early on. Machhindra's first chance came in the eighth minute when Sujal Shrestha produced a shot, but was well saved from Priso Njanga. 

Three Star had another chance in the 10th minute when it received a free kick just few yards away from the box, but was unable to convert.

Again, in the 12th minute, Waisu Hazmat for Three Star had a great chance but his header just missed the goal.  Likewise, in the 21st minute, Three Star nearly opened the scoring after the Machhindra defense struggled to cope against the relentless pressure. 

Machhindra received a set-back in the 24th minute after Dipak Rai got injured. He was substituted for Rejin Subba who would go on to make a huge difference in the match.

The goal for Machhindra came in the 38th minute. Substitute Rejin Subba superbly finished the ball into the net, to give the lead to Machhindra.

After the goal, Machhindra was all over the place. Machhindra had another chance in the 43rd minute to double the lead, but Bikram Lama defended brilliantly to deny Sujal. 

Ranjit Dhimal of Machhindra was shown the first yellow card of the game just before half time for a bad foul on Ashok. 

In the 48th minute, Rejin Subba produced a brilliant cross to double the lead but there was nobody at the end to convert it to goal for Machhindra.

In the 55th minute, another Machhindra player, Andres Nia, was shown the yellow card for committing a bad foul on Three Star. Three Star received a freekick. 

Machhindra nearly scored in the counter, but, Ananta Tamang defended brilliantly to keep Three Star alive in the game.

Machhindra made its second substitution of the game in the 63rd minute when Buddha Limbu replaced Bishal Rai.

Three Star again came close to score when it received a free kick just a yard away from the box, however, Bishal Rai couldn't convert it into the net.

The final change for Machhindra came in the 74th minute when Biraj Maharjan replaced goal scorer Rejin Subba. Similarly, Three Star also made its first change of the game when Mikchhen Tamang replaced Erinoso.

In the 79th minute, Three Star had an amazing chance but couldn't score. It was dominating possession, but lacked the scoring touch that cost it the game. In the 85th minute, Bishal Rai and Peter Sagun cleared the ball which could have equalized the game for Three Star. 

Bishal Rai guaranteed the 3 points in the 90th minute after his right footed shot entered the back of the net. The game was over for Three Star.

Machhindra's Peter Sagun won the player-of-the-match after his heroic performance.

Three Star went to the game knowing that it could have gone level on points with Tribhuvan Army Club and above its Monday opponent Machhindra, but failed to capitalize its chances. The win for Machhindra gets it on the top of the table after playing a game more than Tribhuvan Army and Manang Marsyangdi. It currently has 19 points from 9 games. 

Earlier, Nepal Police Club defeated Armed Police Force 1-0. 

Captain Bhola Silwal gave Nepal Police Club an early lead from the spot in the 12th minute after Bharat Shah was fouled inside the box. 

Pradip Lama was shown a yellow card for misbehavior. In the 50th minute, Sudip Shikhrakar made a brilliant goal line clearance to deny Nir Kumar Rai's venomous shot to keep APF in the game. 

The game was purely dominated by the Nepal Police Club. 

Soujan Rai of APF was also shown a yellow card after tactical foul on Rajiv Lopchan. The match ended favoring Nepal Police, however, Sudip Shikhrakar was shown a straight red card for disciplinary issue after the game. 

Soujan Rai of Nepal Police Club won the man of the match for his impressive performance. 

Nepal Police Club has now climbed up to 5th, level on points with Three Star. 

Armed Police force sits on the 13th place with 5 points. They are 4 points above relegation. 

Himalayan Sherpa faces Saraswati Youth Club while Jawalakhel Youth Club plays against Tribhuvan Army Club on Tuesday.



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