Jhapa Feb, 21- Nepal Police Club (NPC) clinched the title of 1st Martyr’s Gold Cup Invitational Football Tournament defeating New Road Team (NRT) 5-4 in a sudden death in the final here Saturday.
With the victory, NPC added second title in three week’s duration. NPC won the Aaha Gold Cup three weeks ago and headed to Dharan to be crash out of Budha Subba Gold Cup in the first round. After the exit, NPC and NRT arrived straight to Jhapa from Dharan. NRT also had an early exit from Budha Subba. NRT that invested huge amount of money to buy star players and contriving for the title for six months had to satisfy in the second place.
As the regular 90 minutes and added 14 minutes ended without any goals from both side, the match was decided by penalty shootout. As NRT striker Nirajan Rayamajhi failed to convert the penalty, NRT’s dream of winning the first tilte of the year was shattered. The tie breaker ended in 3-3 draw and the match was decided by Sudden Death. In tie breaker NPC captain Ananta Thapa and Roshan Karki failed to score while Bhola Silwal, Dipen Shrestha, Jumanu Rai, Rabin Shrestha and Deepak Poudel converted their penalty shoot outs. Sandip Rai, Bal Gopal Sahukhala, Biraj Maharjan and Nabin Neupane netted for NRT whereas Ranjit Shrestha, Lakshman Ruchal and Rayamajhi failed to convert their spot kick against NPC.
Despite of the thousands of fan’s cheers, NRT missed their first opportunity. NRT got the free kick in the first minute but the shot from Basanta Gauchan rebounded hitting the left bar. And other three consecutive attacks from NRT also were foiled by NPC to left the former in dismay. Alike NRT, NPC also failed to materialize their several attempt into goal. Defender Sandip Rai made a brilliant save off the attack from NPC player Parbat Pandey by beating NRT custodian Surendra Shrestha in the 15th minute of the first half.
Winner NPC grabbed the purse of Rs. 101, 000 while NRT satisfied with cash of Rs. 51,000. The best player of the tournament went to Anil Gurung of NRT while the top scorer became NPC striker Jumanu Rai and Chetan Ghimire jointly. The fair play award went to the ANFA-19 team.