By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu (HamroKhelkud) – Skipper Arik Bista’s terrific free-kick in the final minutes of the match has inspired Butwal Lumbini FC to their first win in the second edition of the Nepal Super League.
Arik scored from almost 35 yards out when the teams were level at 1-1 to defeat Sporting Ilam FC to gather all three points from the match. Ilam, who were dominant throughout the match and created more clear chances, had to succumb to a wonderful free-kick from the Nepal international. Ilam conceded early in the second half but equalized later with a missed penalty in between.
Ilam’s squandered a few chances early on in the match. Bharat Khawas’ attempt off a Fode Camara cross in the third minute came off the frame of the goal.
Butwal had their first big chance of the match in the 13th minute through Gillespye Jung Karki’s individual brilliance. He made a solo run down the left to find Stephan Binong inside the box, but Binong opted to take a first touch before attempting to unleash a shot but the ball was cleared before he could take a shot.
Ilam forward Amath Ndaw headed a Dipesh Ghale cross over the bar in the 18th minute. The first half was devoid of any other clear chances but the second half was eventful from the very start.
Butwal broke the deadlock in the 49th minute of the match. Gillespye evaded a tackle from Dipesh Ghale and played a simple pass to Binong who put the ball into the back of the net with ease from the six-yard line.
Ilam squandered a big chance to equalize in the 57th minute. Fode Camara’s headed lay-off fell for Ndaw who took the ball inside the box but shot straight at Butwal shotstopper Mohammadou.
However, Ilam were awarded a penalty right after Ndaw missed the chance. Dipesh, when attempting to strike the rebound, was tackled by Andre Biyik, handing Ilam with an opportunity to equalize. But Mohammadou came to Butwal’s rescue once again as he saved a spot-kick from Kamara and kept his side ahead.
Ilam were continuously creating chances but failing to convert them. Aldoulge Ba failed to score from inside the six-yard box and hit a cross from Ndaw wide of the goal.
Butwal were saved by the post in the 76th minute. Gaurab Shrestha’s attempt to clear a cross from the right hit the post and went wide for a corner. Mohammadou came to Butwal’s rescue once again as he kept Kamara and Ba at bay back-to-back.
But Mohammadou was helpless in the 78th minute and Ilam equalized. Santosh Khatri’s long-range effort rattled the crossbar out of Mohammadou’s reach and was there for the taking inside the box, where Ba pounced and brought the match to level terms.
But Butwal had other plans. Arik Bista hit a sumptuous strike from 35 yards out to hand his side their first win of this edition.
After the end of today’s affairs, Ilam and Butwal both sit on three points each from three matches each.