Nepal Super League: Drama expected in the last 4 matches of the league stage

Nepal Super League

Kathmandu, December 22

The Nepal Super League 2023 is gaining momentum with each passing game. Recent match outcomes have intensified the excitement, particularly as teams vie for the top four playoff spots.

In the ongoing nine-team tournament, 32 out of 36 league stage matches have been played, leaving only two playoff berths up for grabs. With only four league games left, the four teams advancing to the playoffs in the Nepal Super League will be determined on Saturday evening.

So far, Pokhara Thunders and Dhangadhi FC have already secured their spots in the playoffs, while four teams, Jhapa FC, Lalitpur FC, Kathmandu Razyrs and Birgunj United, are competing for the remaining two positions.

Sporting Ilam FC, Butwal Lumbini FC, and FC Chitwan have been officially eliminated from the playoff contention.

Dramatic week

Nepal Super League

This week’s Nepal Super League games produced surprising results, with title-contending teams facing unexpected losses. The excitement kicked off with a 1-1 draw between defending champions Kathmandu Rayzrs and former runners-up Dhangadhi FC on Monday.

On Tuesday, Sporting Ilam, who were out of the playoff contention, beat Lalitpur City FC 1-0 ending their unbeaten run in Nepal Super League 2023. A win against Ilam would have taken Lalitpur to the playoffs but now have a tough match against Kathmandu in the city derby.

On Wednesday, Jhapa injected more drama into the league by securing a 2-0 victory over Dhangadhi FC. Jhapa, who were reduced to 10 men, blew the table wide open with this win thanks to a talismanic performance from captain Anjan Bista.

On Thursday more fuel was added to the fire after Birgunj United came from behind to beat defending champions Kathmandu Rayzrs 4-1. Kathmandu were all but set to get to the playoffs, but Ghanaian William Opoku had other ideas as he scored an impressive hat trick, including two in two minutes, to take the game away from the defending champions. This win has given Birgunj a great chance to qualify for the playoffs.

The recent defeat could prove costly for Kathmandu, forcing them to win their last league match against Lalitpur to stay in the race for defending the title. It sets the stage for a do-or-die situation for Kathmandu.

Kathmandu’s head coach, Bal Gopal Maharjan, acknowledged the team’s subpar performance, saying, “This is the biggest loss in my coaching career. I have never experienced anything like this.”

The Nepal Super League has become increasingly thrilling as title contenders have suffered consecutive losses, adding an extra layer of excitement to the league.

The tables have turned

As of now, only Pokhara Thunders have secured a place in the playoffs and are poised to finish in the top two, especially considering recent setbacks for Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Finishing first or second will be crucial for Pokhara, providing them with two chances to reach the final scheduled for December 30.

Pokhara Thunders are on the top of the table with 14 points from seven games. Their final league match is against Dhangadhi FC on Friday. Former runners-up, Dhangadhi FC, are currently in second position with 12 points.

Their match will determine who finishes top. A draw would be sufficient for Pokhara to maintain the top spot. Alternatively, Dhangadhi can secure the top position by defeating Pokhara, setting the stage for the first qualifier between the two teams.

Lalitpur City FC and Jhapa FC currently hold the third and fourth positions in the league standings with 10 points each. Former champions Kathmandu Ragers are in fifth place with nine points from seven games. Birgunj, after beating Kathmandu, holds the sixth position with eight points, keeping their chances of securing a top-four spot alive.

On Friday, Jhapa FC will face FC Chitwan in a crucial match where a victory would almost certainly secure their place in the eliminator. Simultaneously, Birgunj United, in their match against Butwal Lumbini, will be seeking a win to propel them into the playoffs. The final match featuring Kathmandu against Lalitpur is anticipated to be intense, as it is a must-win game for Kathmandu if they harbour any aspirations of clinching a playoff berth.

React to this post

Nepal is a sports correspondent for Onlinekhabar.

More From the Author


New Old Popular