Hosts Sahara start on a winning note

SOURCE: Republica


POKHARA, Jan 26: The hosts Sahara Club won the inaugural match of the Eighth Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament on Tuesday at the Pokhara Stadium. A brace from Pushpa Chhetri shaped Sahara´s 3-2 victory over Rupandehi-XI.

Pushpa scored in the 37th and 80th minutes while Bishnu KC added another goal two minutes later to pile up more pressure on the opponents.

However, they were unable to stop Rupandehi from scoring. Rupandehi´s Bishnu Gurung opened their scoring in the 83rd minute in a pass set by Ashok Pun. Bishnu scored the second goal in the dying minutes. He shot the ball inside the net utilizing Krishna Shrestha´s pass in the 89th minute.

Sahara´s Pushpa Shrestha was adjudged the man-of-the-match.

Both the sides created lots of opportunities but failed to convert them. In the early minutes of the match, Rupandehi´s Kumar KC shot in his own post while in a bid to clear, but luckily it deflected hitting the pole.

Rupandehi´s coach Yam Gurung said that his side lost because they lacked team work. He also revealed that they didn´t have sufficient time for preparation. “It was not possible to play well with three day´s training,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sahara´s Coach Kiran Shrestha said his team conceded goals as the players became over-excited after scoring three goals.

The winners Sahara will face the defending champions Nepal Police Club on Saturday while Wednesday´s match will be held between Gorkha United of India and Kathmandu´s Machhindra Club.

Altogether 12 teams are participating in the tournament to be held till February 6. Three departmental teams - Army, Police and Armed Police - along with NRT, Machhindra FC, Manang Marshyangdi Club, Jhapa´s Knight Chess, Rupandehi XI, Dehradun´s Gorkha United, Bangladesh´s Dhaka Sporting, Sahara UK and hosts Sahara Club will compete for the title.

The winners will bag a purse of Rs 150,000 and gold medals while the runners-up will receive Rs 75,000 and a trophy. The best player of the tournament will get a Yamaha bike. Likewise, the highest scorer will receive Rs 15,000 and a trophy. The best coach, goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker of the tournament will bag Rs 10,000 each. The disciplined team will receive the fair-play trophy.

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