Sankhamul qualify for play-offs, Jharna Sports relegated

Sankhamul Futsal became the second team to qualify for the playoffs of the 'A' Division National Futsal League 2078 after defeating Jharna Sports Club 7-0 on Sunday. The defeat meant Jharna are relegated from the top-tier.

Jenish Prajapati scored a hat-trick, Aruj Singh, Krijal Khadka, Yugesh Shrestha and Sabin Khadka scored one each for Sankhamul in the big win. Jharna, pointless after eight rounds of matches, are four points behind Lumbini Futsal and even a win in the final round won't keep them up.

In other match, Abhinash Tamang scored six goals in Sabin Memorial FC's 8-4 win over Prabhatpheri Youth Club. Manoj Gurung scored the other two goals for Sabin Memorial. Dona Thapa also hit a brace and Akhilesh Karki and Nabin Lama scored one each for Prabhatpheri. Sabin Memorial are still in contention for the playoffs spot.

Dhuku Futsal Hub defeated Machhindra Sky Goals 7-5. Both the teams with 10 points each after eight rounds of matches are out of running for playoffs berth.

Bikrant Narsingh Rana scored four for Dhuku. Amit Lama, Urken Sherpa and Prasiddha Magar also got into the scoresheet for Dhuku. Amit Tamang scored twice and Manoj Rai, Aashish Suman and Sanjog Chamling were the scorers for Sky Goals.

The Rising Club Dharan and Sports Castle Pokhara will play the first match on Monday. The second match will be between Lumbini Futsal and Machhindra Sky Goals Kathmandu.

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Sports Castle secure play-offs spot, Rising Club defeat Lumbini

Sports Castle Pokhara secured their place in the play-offs after a 3-2 win over Futsal 5 Dharan in the 'A' Division National Futsal League on Saturday.

Suren Budha Magar, Anjan Devkota and Sumit Shrestha scored for the top of the table team in the win while Kiran Chaudhary scored a double for Futsal 5.

 Futsal 5 are fourth in the table with 14 points from eight games.

In the other match, The Rising Club Dharan overcame Lumbini Futsal with a 6-5 result. Rewosh Maskey, Dorje Tamang, Biku Tamang, Sudip Gurung, Hemanta Thapa Magar and Milan Rai scored for The Rising Club while Raefi Maharjan, Rupen Baraili, Hemanta Gurung, Sujan Thapa and Devashish Sharma found the net for Lumbini Futsal.

Rising Club are second in the table while Lumbini Futsal are ninth.

Dhuku Futsal Hub Kathmandu will play Machhindra Sky Goals Kathmandu while Sabin Memorial FC will take on Prabhatpheri Youth Club in the second match. The third match will be between Sankhamul Futsal and Jharna Sports Club Rupandehi.

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U23 squad reduced to 32

The national U23 squad, currently in closed camp training, has been reduced to 32.

Head coach Bal Gopal Maharjan reduced his squad to 32 on Friday leaving out 10 players.

The team had played a practice match against Nepal Police Club on Friday morning.

The team has been preparing for the upcoming AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. Nepal have been drawn alongside Iran, Lebanon and Tajikistan in Group B for the tournament.

Nepal will play its first match against Iran on October 25 and second against hosts Tajikistan on October 28. Nepal's final match will be against Lebanon on October 31. All the matches will be played at Republican Central Stadium in Dushanbe.

Final 32: Arpan Karki (GK), Bishal Sunar (GK), Abhishek Baral (GK), Rohit Karki (GK), Suman Aryal, Gautam Shrestha, Rajan Gurung, Ashim Bhusal, Randip Paudel, BIshwas Udas, Bishal Basnet, Roman Limbu, Adil Hamid, Ashok Thapa, Anil Maharjan, Abhishek Limbu, Shiva Gurung, Nitin Thapa, Suraj Jeu Thakuri, Ayush Ghalan, Sesehang Angdembe, Dipesh Gurung, Rajiv Lopchan, Sishir Lekhi, Akash Buddha Magar, Roshan Pahari, Ritik Khadka, Manish Dangi, Abhishek Rijal, Darshan Gurung, Buddha Bal Tamang, Arik Bista

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Late Manish Dangi goal helps Nepal defeat Maldives

Substitute Manish Dangi scored four minutes from time with a brilliant counter-attacking move as Nepal started their SAFF Championship with a 1-0 win over hosts and defending champions Maldives on Friday.

Playing in front of a raucous crowd, Dangi capitalized on a counter-attacking move, got past three defenders and fired into the net in the 86th minute.

Maldives were superior with ball possession throughout the game but were kept at bay a composed defending from Nepal. Nepal had few opportunities to them but was unable to capitalize them.

Sujal Shrestha's shot in the 11th minute was collected easily while Rohit Chand could not time his shot properly a minute later. Nawayug Shrestha's header also lacked enough power to beat Maldives goalie. Maldives too had chances but were kept silent by Kiran Limbu who had few good saves to his name.

Head coach Abdullah Almutairi expressed his delight after winning the match. "It is good to win against Maldives in Maldives in SAFF Cup. I think we deserved the win and played well," said Almutairi. "We didn't give them chances in open play. They also missed chances from set-pieces," he added.

Goalscorer Dangi thanked coach Almutairi for having confidence in him to break the deadlock. "While substituting he said I can score the goal. I acted with my instincts and was emotional to score," said Dangi.

Earlier, Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka 1-0 in the opening match of the Championship.

Nepal will now play their second match against Sri Lanka on Monday. The match will kick-off at 9 pm local time.

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