By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Nov 30 : The title contenders Machhindra Football Club and Tribhuvan Army Football Club settled for a goalless draw on Monday in their second match of the Martyr's Memorial A Division League at Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu.
The departmental side Army dominated the defending champion Machhindra but could not find a goal in a one-sided affair.
Goalie Bikesh Kuthu avoided a scare in the second minute as he saved the 40-yard distance free kick off Ranjit Dhimal.
Santosh Tamang rescued Army after making a goalline save to Machhindra's Azerbaijani striker Norlan Zahit’s powerful strike to the rebound ball. Dhimal’s cross rebounded hitting Army goalie Bikesh Kuthu gloves in the 26th minute to found Zahit.
Machhindra stunned Army 1-0 to lift the title of the last edition of the league.
After holding title holders to a draw, Army Coach Nabin Neupane said the point against Machhindra was vital for them.
"The absence of Nawayug Shrestha is a big blow for us as we missed him today. We made an attacking plan after 70 minutes to pounce on the tired opponent. We also played well in defence line but failed on attacking," Coach Neupane said.
"Strikers have to build confidence to improve in scoring," Coach Neupane added.
Machhindra Coach Prabesh Katuwal said they failed to capitalize on two scoring chances in the first half. "Lack of strikers, we have to settle for a point against our main rival Army. "Army played very well because they are a set team. They do regular training," Coach Katuwal added.
NRT open account New Road Team (NRT) and Brigade Boys Club (BBC) shared a point after playing a goalless draw in the first match of the day. Both teams failed to score in a couple of chances as they ended the goalless draw.
After a draw, Brigade Boys collected four points from two matches. Brigade Boys defeated Armed Police Force (APF) 3-2 in their league opener. NRT opened their account in their second battle of the league. They suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of defending champion Machhindra in their first match. Brigade Boys Club Coach Sanoj Shrestha said his players couldn't play well against NRT.
"We got a couple of goal-scoring opportunities against NRT. But all our effort went in vain. We struggled in the first half. My boys, however, made a comeback in the second half turning the match into a fifty-fifty affair," Coach Shrestha said.
NRT assistant coach Jiveen Sinkeman blamed his players for failing to execute the plans against Brigade Boys. "We failed to hold ball possession. We played too many missed passes against the opponent. Though we have trained for more than a month, my team took a long time to set," Coach Sinkeman said.