KATHMANDU, June 13: Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club have been relegated to the second division for the first time after 37 years.
Sankata were sure to be relegated before playing their last match on Sunday after other relegation battlers Boys Union Club registered a dramatic 7-1 win over Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club in the Martyrs Memorial San Miguel Football League at the Dasharath Stadium.
Sankata with a history of six decades, however, lost 3-0 to Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club to finish at the bottom of the table with 17 points in the 12-team contest. Boys Union climbed one spot to 10th position with 22 points to move out of the relegation zone. MMC moved one position up to sixth with 30 points.
However, Boys Union have to wait for the outcome of the match between relegation threatened Armed Police Force (APF) and Machhindra Club to be held on Monday to determine their fate for the first division.
APF in 11th position have 19 points with still one match to play. APF need to defeat Machhindra by six-goal margin to remain in the first division. Bottom two teams will be relegated to the second division.
Sankata, one of the oldest football clubs of Nepal, started playing first division football from the same year of establishment in 1951. They have won the league title thrice in 1980, 1983 and 1985. Previously they were relegated to second division in 1971 but were promoted the following year.
Among 22 matches, Sankata have won five and played draws in two matches. They have scored 20 goals and conceded 36 goals in the current season.
Korean striker Lee Ji Hoon scored all three goals in MMC´s victory over Sankata to score a hat-trick in second consecutive match and take his goal tally to eight. He scored in the 11th, 52nd and 64th minute respectively.
Earlier, Resham Rana and Raju Rai scored a hat-trick each in Boys Union´s victory over Jawalakhel. Rana scored in the 9th, 25th and 37th minutes and Rai netted in the 31st, 76th and 88th minutes to wrap up his league scoring with eight goals.
The other goal for Boys Union came from Rupesh Chhetri in the 14th minute. Doran Serchan netted the consolation for Jawalakhel in the 45th minute.
In the first leg, Jawalakhel had defeated Boys Union 1-0.
Sankata prez to resign
Sankata President Indraman Tuladhar has said he will take responsibility for the defeat of the club in the league and tender his resignation.
“It is an upsetting moment that the club has been relegated during my tenure as president. I want to apologize to all the fans,” Tuladhar said, adding that he would resign soon. He clarified that the club will not be separated from football.
“The club was established for football, so there is no point separating it from football,” said Tuladhar, who is also the CEO of All Nepal Football Association. “As per ANFA regulations, we will play B division and return in the first division with full preparations,” he said.