Tuesday, April 16

Jawalakhel hammers defending champions Machhindra

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – Jawalakhel Youth Club began their Martyr’s Memorial ‘A’ Division League 2023 journey with a win, as they hammered defending champions Machhindra Football Club 3-1.

Machhindra, who led 1-0 at halftime, conceded three goals in the second half. The defending champions played without any foreign players, while Jawalakhel fielded all four of their foreign recruits.

Devendra Tamang scored a free-kick goal in the 23rd minute of the match to give Machhindra the lead. However, Hishub Thapaliya leveled the match in the 60th minute after receiving Fode Fofana’s through ball, leaving two defenders behind, and beating the goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha.

Four minutes later, Jawalakhel’s foreign recruit Nkoto Synous Masoabi scored a goal after Bishal Shrestha failed to clear Diwakar Chaudhary’s backpass. Masoabi directed the ball into the post with a calm first touch from outside of the box. Jawalakhel’s captain, Simanta Thapa, then confirmed their victory in the 71st minute of the match, heading the ball home after connecting to Hishub’s free-kick from the right flank.

Machhindra’s Head Coach Prabesh Katuwal stated that mistakes from their goalkeeper cost them the match. “Our goalkeeper seemed confused while conceding the first goal. He was unsure whether to stay back or come forward. He made a mistake in the second goal as well, which was a turning point,” said Katuwal in the post-match press conference. Katuwal also mentioned that their foreign players were unavailable due to not receiving their work permits yet. Additionally, a few Nepali players were injured, and Andres Nia suffered an injury, ruling him out of the field for 5 to 6 weeks.

Due to a busy schedule last week, Machhindra’s key players Bimal Gharti Magar and Nia sustained injuries. The club participated in the Jhapa Gold Cup in Jhapa and KP Oli Gold Cup in Kathmandu without any rest, playing three matches in four days.

Additionally, Jawalakhel’s Head Coach Sunil Shrestha expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance. “We had several opportunities in the first half, but we couldn’t capitalize on them due to a lack of coordination between players. However, our foreign players adapted in the second half, and good teamwork led us to the victory,” said Shrestha.

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