Army tops the league standings

tank budathoki

Tribhuvan Army Club climbed atop the standings of the Red Bull National League football tournament on Sunday after a second half goal from Tek Bahadur Budathoki sealed a 1-0 win for the departmental team over Armed Police Force (APF) at the artificial turf of ANFA ground in Satdobato, Lalitpur.

Army which also maintained its undefeated run to nine matches in the league earned 17 points following fourth its win and toppled Jhapa from summit on the basis of head-to-head record. Army with a match advantage over Jhapa had earned a 1-0 win over the latter in an away match on January 27. APF remained on fourth place with 14 points after back-to-back defeats.

In the evenly-contested affair, Army's numerous attempts for goal got materialized only in the 71st minute when Tek headed Santosh Tamang's cross from the crowded zone to send the ball beyond the reach of diving APF goalie Amrit Chaudhary.

APF meanwhile wasted a golden chance to equalize in the fading moments when an unmarked Santosh Jangbu Sherpa's shot, fed by Santosh Tamang, went above the bar from close range.

Army coach Meghraj KC expressed satisfaction for winning the match. "APF is a strong team in the current scenario. It was an evenly-contested match though we created better scoring chances," KC said.

Army was without Nawayug Shrestha, who scored a hat-trick during its last match against Police, due to a match ban. Another striker Bharat Khawas shall miss the team's next match after he saw second yellow card in the injury time of the match.

APF had created a couple of scoring chances in the first half. Heman Gurung of APF hit the woodwork as early as in the sixth minute. Similarly, Army goalie Bikesh Kutu made a diving save to deny a goal-bound ball after deflection at Army defender Bikash Tamang in a cross from Man Bahadur Tamang. Army, meanwhile, created thee scoring chances in the first half and four after the break.

APF coach Krishna Thapa said that his team need not worry despite the defeat. "We still have a long way to go. Army is a title contender and luck also favored them," he summed up.