Dhangadhi top table after draw, Kathmandu lose to Butwal


By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Dec. 10: Dhangadhi Football Club (DFC) ended their fifth match with a draw against Sporting Ilam Football Club (SIFC) after a two-goal comeback in the second half, ensured a point, and topped the table.

In the first of the two matches of the Nepal Super League at Dasharath Stadium on Saturday, SIFC, who was in the 7th position of the table, led against DFC, who was in the 2nd position, with two consecutive goals in less than four minutes at the end of the first half.

Fode Camara scored the first goal for SIFC in the 44th minute. He was free inside the six-yard box to receive a pass from Amath Ndaw and send the ball to the back of the next. In less than four minutes after the first goal, Omar Thiom capitalised on a mistake by DFC goalkeeper Mohamad Taha during a corner kick and led the team with two goals.

Ndaw was adjudged the player of the match. DFC and SIFC could not take advantage despite several chances before the two goals in the first half. Ahmad Hijazi had a free space while on a counter in the 14th minute but fell after losing his balance. SIFC goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu’s one-hand save to the shot by Rohan Karki also denied a goal to DFC.

Likewise, SIFC’s Ibrahima Djite’s chance to score in the 22nd minute was also cleared. Omar Masdaphi Thiom also missed a chance as he could not head a ball from the corner to the back of the net in the 29th minute.

However, SIFC was positive of winning with the two-goal lead as the second half kicked off. But DFC earned a penalty in the 66th minute over a foul on Fode Fofana by Djite. Richard Osei Agyemang reduced the lead after scoring the penalty as he sent Kuthu 

to the wrong side.

Afeez Oladipo, a substitute of DFC, equalised the match after scoring a header to a cross by Fofana in the 82nd minute. DFC had increased its attack after Oladipo entered the field.

DFC had a final chance to win the game and make an amazing comeback before the final whistle through Ram Chandra Wajee, another substitute. However, the game ended 2-2 with the two teams sharing a point each. 

With a point, DFC now has eight points and is at the top of the league based on goal margin. Pokhara Thunders, which was earlier in the first position with eight points, came down to the second position.

On the other hand, the second match on Saturday between Kathmandu Rayzrs FC (KRFC) and FC Butwal Lumbini (FCBL) also led to a surprise ending. KRFC, the defending champion, lost the match against FCBL with a goal. FCBL scored two but KRFC could only reply with one. 

KRFC’s Shokhrukh Makhmudkhozhiev hit a deflected ball to the goal after a header from Olivier Kingue in the 26th minute; however, Shokhrukh was offside. Meanwhile, FCBL was able to score less than three minutes later of the unsuccessful goal by Shokhrukh.

A freekick from near the halfway line on the opposition’s side reached the 18-yard box and a save failure from KRFC’s goalkeeper Abhisek Baral led to the first goal of the match in the 29th minute. After the failed save, the ball got to the foot of FCBL players. It was a poor shot, but the ball reached the foot of Stephane Binong. 

Binong’s strike was saved by KRFC’s captain Kuldip Karki from the goal line. Nevertheless, Karki’s clearance deflected the ball back to Binong and he did not miss to secure the goal the second time. 

Hishub Thapaliya, the marquee player of KRFC, also missed a chance from inside the box in the 35th minute.

Viewers had to wait for the second half for the second goal of the match. FCBL’s Arik Bista was able to score in the 60th minute. Bista was able to shoot with his left foot from outside the 18-yard box capitalising on the pass from Gillespye Jung Kari, who was adjudged player of the match.

Arik had also hit a staggering freekick in the 45th minute, but the ball hit the crossbar. Meanwhile, Shokhrukh, who has been looking for his first goal of the season, also hit a powerful freekick in the 79th minute, but goalkeeper Mohamodou Moussi denied it.  

KRFC intensified attacking in the final 25 minutes as it was the only way to ensure a comeback for an equaliser or a win. There were chances for the defending champions in the 83rd and 94th minutes, but commotions in the box could not result in a goal. Mohamodou and the defenders prevented KRFC from scoring.

In the seven minutes of injury time, KRFC finally found a goal in the 96th minute. Rajiv Lopchan reduced the lead to one goal and raised some hope for KRFC. Kathmandu had the most shots on target, but they lost the game. It was the first loss in the last four matches for KRFC.

FCBL has climbed the table after securing three points from the win. They are now in the third position with seven points from five matches.

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