KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 29
Defending champions Machhindra FC and Tribhuvan Army Football Club played a goalless draw, while the match between New Road Team and Brigade Boys Club also failed to produce goal in the Qatar Airways Martyrs Memorial A Division League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.
Machhindra, who had claimed the maiden league title with a 1-0 win over the departmental side in the previous edition, failed to live up to their expectations despite having a star-studded side, while the TAFC missed a chance to avenge their heartbreaking loss that prevented them from winning the first-ever trophy. TAFC would have claimed the maiden title with a draw then but the departmental side faltered at the last moment after a fairytale journey to the top of the table until the last match.
Both the team coaches were not satisfied with the finishing department of their sides.
“We have good forwards in the team but no one is a proper striker,” said Machhindra coach Prabesh Katuwal, who has eight forwards in the squad including the likes of Manish Dangi, Abhishek Rijal, Bimal Gharti Magar, Sunil Bal, Sujal Shrestha and Rejin Subba. “We have to sort this problem if we are going to defend the title,” he added.
TAFC coach Nabin Neupane echoed Katuwal’s voice and said the players lacked intensity in front of the goal. “It was a crunch match and we should have taken all three points in our bid to become champions,” said Neupane. “We did really well in defense but we were equally weak in front line.
And we also missed a couple of chances that came our way,” added Neupane.
Machhindra had better opportunities in the match compared to the Armymen. Machhindra’s foreign recruit Omolaja Nurain Kareem shot agonisingly wide from a set piece from 25 yards out in the 10th minute, while Sunil Bal failed to score from close after TAC goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu spilled a back-heal attempt from Norlan Zahit Oglu Novruzov in the 26th minute. TAFC failed to threaten Machhindra goal despite taking control of the game in the fourth quarter of the match.
Earlier, BBC and NRT shared the spoils. Both the sides created a couple of opportunities but they failed to convert any.
While NRT earned their first points, BBC remained unbeaten and accumulated four points from two matches.
NRT assistant coach Jeevan Sinkeman said the team failed to perform as a unit. “It’s been more than a month we are training together but the players have not been able to perform as a set team,” said Sinkeman.
“They are losing ball possession easily and there are lots of miss-passes. We are hoping the problem will be sorted out soon,” he added.
BBC coach Sanoj Shrestha rued the missed opportunities.
“The opponents also played well and it was a tough first half for us. We created a couple of chance in the second half but we could not convert them,” he added.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 30 2021, of The Himalayan Times.