Thursday, May 23

Pokhara Climb To The Top With A Win Over Ilam

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu (HamroKhelkud) – Pokhara Thunders have climbed to the top of the standings with a 1-0 win over Sporting Ilam FC in the ongoing second edition of the Nepal Super League (NSL). Sanjeeb Bista scored the only goal of the match at the start of the second half to guide the Thunders to the top of the table.

Pokhara were on the back foot from the very start of the match. Ilam were creating chances from the very start of the match while Pokhara had to wait until the halfway stage of the first half to put the ball into the opposition box in the form of a cross. 

Ilam’s Omar Thiom’s long-range effort went wide of the post in the fourth minute of the match. Ilam squandered a big opportunity in the sixth minute. Thiom failed to head home a precisely crossed ball from Ibrahim Djite from close range into the net. 

Ibrahim, the left-back who was playing upfield today, put in another cross in the seventh minute that was dealt with by Anzal Maharjan. Pokhara created their first chance of the match in the 20th minute but Dipesh Ale Magar’s cross went unscathed across the box after Stephan Annor failed to put his head to it. 

At the other end, Ilam were continuously putting pressure on the Pokhara back line. A 23rd-minute free kick from Ibrahim was easily caught by Pokhara shot-stopper Yves Priso. Priso came to Pokhara’s rescue yet again in the 30th minute when he got his hand to a Fode Camara effort after he was put through on goal by Amath Ndaw. 

Thiom’s effort in the dying minutes of the first half went straight into Priso’s palms as Ilam failed to capitalize on numerous created chances in the first forty-five minutes. 

Ilam had to start the second half on the back foot. In the very first minute, Pokhara came agonizingly close to scoring. Moses Gyabba’s effort from inside the box struck the woodwork at the near-post and struck Bikesh Kuthu who was on the floor. But the ball which looked to be going inside the post, crawled across the goalline and away.  

But in the very next minute, Pokhara found the back of the net. Thiom failed to clear a corner from Ayush Ghalan which then struck Ndaw and fell into Sanjeeb Bista’s path who toe-poked it over the line giving Bikesh no time to react. 

After conceding the goal, Ilam started dominating the ball possession like in the first half and started creating chances straight away. Nabin Lama’s well-weighted through-ball for Ndaw was gathered by Priso coming off his line. 

Nabin Lama’s effort in the 57th minute from outside the box failed to go towards the target. Ilam came to scoring again in the 67th minute. Ndaw’s swinging delivery off a set-piece was met by Bimal Panday’s head at the far-post but his header went across the post and out for a goal kick. 

Pokhara’s Moses Gyabba’s effort from long-range deflected wide of the post in the 77th minute. Ilam forward Fode Camara’s effort was well saved by Priso down to his left in the 80th minute. 

Pokhara, after today’s win, keep their unbeaten run alive climb to the top of the table with eight points from four matches that include two wins and two draws. Ilam, on the other hand, have three points in four matches.

FC Chitwan will take on Butwal Lumbini FC in the only match of Thursday. The match will kick off at 5 PM at the Dasharath Stadium. 

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