Kathmandu: In what was one of the most anticipated matches in the ongoing Martyr’s Memorial ‘A’ Division League, two departmental sides, Tribhuvan Army Football Club and Nepal Police club, settled for a 1-1 draw in Dashrath Rangasala on Monday.
The first half of the match ended with a goalless draw. TAFC were domineering for the first 18 minutes. Their first notable chance came at the 10th minute when forward George Karki’s shot at goal from outside the box went flying over the post. In the 13th minute, TAFC skipper Bharat Khawas’s header from inside the box went wide.
By that time, it looked like the TAFC would dominate the game but the team failed to sustain its initial momentum.
NPC created its first notable chance in the 18th minute when the striker Suman Lama made a stunning charge from around 25 yards. The ball, however, flew off into the parapet.
TAFC created another chance at the end of the first half, a shot by Sesehang Angdembe from 30 yards that was denied by NPC goalie Satrughan Chaudhary.
NPC opened the scoresheet in the 51st minute with a header from defender Santosh Hemran in Tej Tamang’s freekick.
The match went into equalizer after TAFC’s substitute midfielder Bikash Basnet shot it home from off the edge of the box in the 61st minute.
TAFC could have broken the deadlock in the 87th minute but the goal scored by substitute Tek Budhathoki was ruled offside.
NPC boss, Ananta Raj Thapa, blamed it on “one mistake” for having to settle in for an equalizer. “We were almost about to win the match, but due to one mistake by one of our players we conceded the goal,” he said.
Raju Tamang, assistant coach for TAFC, appeared satisfied with his team’s performance at the post-match conference. “Overall we played well,” he said. “It seemed like our attacking and defensive orders were not well set. We made several attempts but the finishing was not quite up to the mark.”