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Martyrs Memorial  League- A Battle of Pride


Niranjan Adhikari



It's finally come to an end. Nepali Collina Gyani Raja Shrestha blows the final whistle to end another edition of Martyrs Memorial A Division league. Two departmental teams, Trivuban Army Club (TAC), and Mahendra Police Club (MPC) played the title battle at the crowded Dasarath Stadium. A point clear to MPC was that the Army Club needed only a draw to clinch the title; the Police Club had to beat their archrival anyhow to be the first departmental team to lift the glorious trophy.


From the very beginning, the Police team dominated the Army players and finally got the back of the net twice in the second half. Last year's best striker Ramesh Budathoki struck the opener in the 64th minute, while inspirational striker Jumanu Rai added another one with a diving header; 20 minutes later they sealed victory. The Army Club then appeared aggressive as they kept MPC's danger zone busy but weren't able to find any consolation. Match referee Gyani Raja Shrestha blew the last whistle that added one more league to the history of Martyrs Memorial League.

This year's MM A Division league was not as thrilling as the Premiership, Series A, La Liga or Ligue Un but was exciting than those of the year’s gone by. According to statistics, this years league is a fine display of four-month long foot-balling actions, fourteen teams featuring in one hundred and eighty two clashes, keeping busy more than three hundred and sixty players, scoring five hundred and eighty seven times, dozens of bookings and couple of sent offs. In other words, it was a showdown between sixty-six points (MPC) and ten points (Bregade Boys). The former one claiming the title and the latter being eliminated from its class, relegated from A Division along with Saraswoti Youth Club (14 points). Boys Union was close with only one win and a draw (4 points) clear off the relegation zone.

 
The Good

This season's edition was more managed in comparison to the earlier ones. No huge battles among the supporters were seen, it was a good supporting crowd. The most important part was the much appreciated corporate involvement with clubs getting strong financial back-ups. Also great was the feature of Multinational players (Nigerian, Indian and Bhutanese as well). Best of all were the prizes; twenty lacs for the champion, six bikes for the best individuals and a car for the outstanding player.
 
The Bad

Hooligans - the single problem that could ruin the game. Also disappointing were some of the less qualified referees and their lackluster decisions. The absence of discipline in the players and lack of disciplinary action against such was also a cause for frown. Let’s hope the next edition of the games will heed more attention to these points.




What do the numbers say? Statistics:

League Final Points Table:-

TEAM

P

W

D

L

GF:GA

PTS.

Mahendra Police Club

26

20

5

1

47:17

65

Tribhuwan Army Club

26

20

3

3

63:21

63

Nabil Three Star Club

26

18

3

5

57:27

57

Manang Marshyangdi Club

26

17

4

5

75:21

55

Armed Police Force

26

15

1

10

58:29

46

Machhindra FC

26

12

3

11

42:37

39

Friends Club

26

10

6

10

40:30

36

New Road Team

25

10

5

10

29:34

35

Sankata Club

26

8

7

11

34:35

31

Rani Pokhari Corner Team

26

7

7

12

38:51

28

Jawalakhel Youth Club

26

5

5

16

25:50

20

Boys Union Club

26

5

3

18

29:66

18

Saraswoti Club

26

3

5

18

25:78

14

Brigade Boys Club

26

2

4

20

23:86

10





Highest scorers
 
Anil Gurung (MMC) - 31
Bikarna Shrestha (TAC) - 27
Jibesh Pandey (APF) - 18
Rishi Rai (RCT), Nurudden S Olawale (MMC) - 14
Jumanu Rai (MPC), Yugal Kishore Rai (NTSC), Nilendra Dewan (Friends) - 12
Santosh Shahukhala (APF) - 11
Ananta Thapa (MPC) - 9

 





Hatricks

A total  of  16 hatricks were scored during the tournament.

Anil Gurung- 5

Bikarna Shrestha – 4

 




Cards/Cautions

Total
Red- 14
Yellow- 259
Jawalakhel – 3 red cards
Friends- 2 red cards, 30 yellow cards
RCT- 24 yellow cards
Machhindra – 23 yellow cards 


Foreign Players

Total – 18
Machhindra /Friends – 4
MMC/NRT – 3
Boys Union/Three Star – 2
 


Comeback of the Season

Dev Narayan Chaudhary made an impressive comeback for MPC, scoring in some occasions.

 Former national team's leading scorer Nirajan Rayamajhi returns to home league with the blue shirts of Three Star.

 Former league champion Three Star's attacking defender Janak Singh made a slow comeback for his new club APF after a long time injury. He was injured during the South Asian Football in Karachi, Pakistan.



 Abstinence
 
 Former national team member and Three Star's league winning player Pralaya RajBhandari is one of the players the squad missed this season. Pralaya went to USA for his education. He had played well in the opening edition of AFC President Cup's held in Kathmandu.

 


Who had the lucky charm and who was plain unlucky?

 Referee Luv Khatri was proven the most unlucky. Most of the matches officiated by Khatri, were in controversy. Beginning from the penalty given to Three Star against Jawalakhel Youth Club, Khatri's decisions were always attacked by the players and managers during the post match conferences, forcing him a three match suspension.

MMC skipper Tashi Tshering was lucky, not suspended by ANFA after he quit the match against MPC, protesting against a goal through penalty spot on a rainy battle.

 JYC was lucky to leapfrog Saraswoti Youth Cluband as it skipped from the relegation zone, where they spent almost a whole season.

 MMC was unlucky as they booked their worst record in league's history by loosing three matches in a row.



 
Best of the Bests
 
Best Player- Hari Khadka (MPC)
Best Goalkeeper - Surendra Shrestha (NRT)
Best Defender - Anjan KC (NTSC)
Best Midfielder - Raju Tamang Lama (TAC)
Best Striker - Bikarna Shrestha (TAC

 
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