By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Nov. 29: Defending champions, Kathmandu Rayzrs FC managed to avoid defeat thanks to Junior Nkengue’s goal, securing a 1-1 draw against FC Chitwan in the Nepal Super League match at Dasarath Stadium, Kathmandu, on Tuesday.
With this result, Kathmandu climbed to the top of the table with four points, after one win and one draw, while Lalitpur FC sits behind them in second place with three points.
On the other hand, Chitwan FC climbed one position up to sixth place with one point, after losing their first match against Pokhara Thunders by 1-0. It is worth noting that Kathmandu defeated Sporting Ilam FC 1-0 in the inaugural match of the second edition of NSL.
National team striker Bimal Gharti Magar broke the deadlock five minutes before the final whistle, but Nkengue scored the equalizer in stoppage time, saving the defending champions from defeat. Both teams had a few chances to score, but the goals came only in the late hour of the game.
Chitwan started the game aggressively, and their first shot on target, from Tshiring Gurung in the third minute, went straight into the hands of the defending champion’s Keeper Abhishek Baral. Kathmandu’s Tojdinov Komiwan shot from outside the box in the 14th minute was easily caught by Chitwan’s Keeper Bishal Shrestha.
In the 35th minute, Baral thwarted Chitwan’s counterattack, while Roshan Rana Magar’s volley shot to the long pass of Keeper Sherstha was easily saved by Kathmandu’s goalkeeper.
Baral again came in between Afriye Acquah’s freekick and the post in the 38th minute. Nepal’s star striker Magar had a left-footed powerful shot from out of the box, which was off the target. Kathmandu had a chance to score from a free kick from the edge of the box in the 43rd minute, but Nkengu Junior’s kick went above the crossbar.
Rafiq Aminu had a wayward shot from inside the box in the 52nd minute.
Four minutes before the final whistle, Chitwan FC took the lead from Magar’s goal. Nawayug Shrestha, who had substituted Rafiq Aminu few seconds ago, provided Magar with a cross inside the penalty box, and Magar’s cutback hit the keeper before going inside the post.
However, their lead did not last long, as Kathmandu restored the parity in stoppage time. Nkengue’s shot from inside the box kissed the top corner of the post, dashing Chitwan’s hopes of securing their first win of the season.