Tribhuwan Army and Friends’ Club won their respective matches on Thursday in the Red Bull Martyrs’ Memorial ‘A’ Division League with a similar 2-0 score to secure fifth win in a row and emerge as potential teams capable of posing serious threat to the heavyweights in their title aspiration. Both the winners prospered in the standings at the expense of the already relegated sides with Army downing Bouddha and Friends’ emerging victorious upon Mahindra Bansbari Club.
Thursday’s win saw Friends’ Club galloping a step closer to the super eight stage while Army consolidated their chances of finishing within top five as they have relatively weaker opponents than their preceding rivals with only one game left to be played in the first round.
Army climbed a place above at sixth, leveled on 25 points with fourth placed Manang and fifth placed NRT. Second placed Ranipokhari Corner Team and third placed Machhindra FC are tied on 26 points while leaders Three Star are three points clear at the top on 29 points.
Meanwhile, Friends’ ascended two positions up at seventh on 25 points, a point more than Saraswoti.
Friends’ failed to find the target despite relentlessly dominating the first half but their ruthlessness bore fruit in the second session as African recruits Zikahe Dodoz and Cheikh Oumar strikes extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.
Dodoz broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, chipping in a glancing header from the centre of the box into an unguarded Bansbari net utilising a perfect cross from Prakash Budathoki.
Oumar sealed the convincing victory in the 74th minute when he confidently chipped over impending Bansbari substitute goalie Ajit Prajapati from the point utilising a pass from Jagajeet Shrestha.
Friends’ coach Ramesh Maharjan admitted that the performance of the team is improving day by day.
Later in the day, goals from Raju Tamang and Nawayug Shrestha in either side of the half sealed fifth straight victory for Army.
Raju Tamang put Army ahead in the 15th minute, converting a spot kick awarded after Bhupal Gurung had blocked Deep Lama’s goal bound shot with his hand. Bharat Khawas close range header had crashed against the bar a minute before. Shrestha doubled the tally in the 82nd minute, beating goalkeeper Ranjit Gurung in a one-on-one position.
Posted on: 2013-01-18 09:19