Satdobato, Friends play tame draw – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper

Satdobato, Friends play tame draw - The Himalayan Times - Nepal's No.1 English Daily Newspaper


Newly-promoted Satdobato Youth Club played a goalless draw with 10-man Friends Club in the opening match of the Qatar Airways Martyrs Memorial A Division League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

Despite playing their first match in top flight football, Satdobato were a better side compared to experienced team Friends but the failure in converting the chances upfront forced them in sharing spoils. Friends also got a couple of shots on target but they were also not able to get the back of the nets. Friends were reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute when Ronell Anthony Paul received the second yellow card.

Satdobato came close to opening the score in the 11th minute but Sushil Rai failed to connect a pass from skipper Man Bahadur Tamang, while Akash Budha Magar’s header went agonisingly wide following a free kick from his captain in the 33rd minute. Budha Magar saw his shot brilliantly punched out by Friends goalkeeper Rahul Ram Chandra Yadav, who was tested several times in the match.

Friends were unlucky in the 59th minute after Jamoula Anthony Francois had a shot hit the cross bar, while the foreign recruit came close again in the 66th minute but his attempt from outside the box took a huge deflection to Peter Segun before Satdobato goalkeeper Abishek Baral saved the team from going down with a brilliant save. Prashant Awasthi shot wide of the post in the 75th minute, while Friends custodian Yadav stood firm again in the 82nd minute as he blocked a powerful shot from Neeraj Chaudhary. Yadav was later named the player of the match and he earned Rs 10,000.

Satdobato coach Meghraj KC lauded his team’s performance in the first-ever match in top flight but rued the missed opportunities.

“We had come to the stadium for three points and the players also had at least 10 shots on target. Our front line was a little bit rusty and Friends goalkeeper [Yadav] was outstanding in front of the goal,” said KC. “There are lot of positives to take from the match and we hope to amend the mistakes to perform well in upcoming games,” he added.

Friends coach Mrigendra Mishra said he was satisfied with the result. “I knew Satdobato would come to the stadium with high spirits as they are newcomers in the league. It’s not easy to play the first match against a newcomer side as I have seen many upsets in the past,” said Mishra remembering the iconic match between debutante Nepal APF Club and Three Star Club in 2006 when the departmental side came from two goals down to beat the star-studded defending champions 3-2. On Saturday, Himalayan Sherpa Club will take on Sankata Club in an early match at the Dasharath Stadium, while Chyasal Youth Club will face Three Star Club in the day’s second game.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 20, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.

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