KATHMANDU, Jan 16: Nabil Three Star Club and Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), the two renowned football teams of
, will face each other after almost four years in the final of the British Gurkha Cup on Sunday. The past legacy will be of little use at present as both the teams have undergone considerable changes in these four years. Nepal
The last time the two teams clashed was in 2006 in the final of the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara. Nabil Three Star won the match in a tie-breaker. Since then, Nepali football has gone through a massive upheaval.
The A-division league matches and other tournaments came to a halt due to internal dispute of the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) due to which many teams crumbled. The impact was also felt by MMC but Three Star were not affected much. Three Star didn´t face much crisis except for the quitting of some talented players.
On the other hand, MMC have witnessed a total change. Besides Tashi Tshiring, the captain of MMC, all the footballers are new ones including eight U-19 footballers -- the products of ANFA.
“The final match is between the audacity of youths and the experience of the veterans,” said MMC coach Tshiring Lopsang. Lopsang admitted that Three Star are the most dynamic team but his side is prepared to face them. “Three Star have star players and we have newcomers but that has not affected our morale,” he said, adding that a win or a lose is natural in a game, though.
Although Three Star began with poor performance, their dream of winning the title reached the zenith after they eliminated Nepal Police Club, who are considered the most successful team in knockout tournaments. However, Three Star have never won any title despite reaching the final in tournaments held earlier in the capital.
Three Star coach Bal Gopal Maharjan is hopeful of the team´s victory. “Manang is not as good as earlier which Manang´s coach has accepted. However, a team that has reached the final is definitely not weak, but we are stronger than MMC,” said Maharjan.
Maharjan is worried about the injury of his players Sandeep Rai and Bikash Singh Chhetri. Maharjan believes that if they can repeat the performance of the last two matches, they will surely win the title.
Very few had predicted that Three Star with injured players and MMC having U-19 players would reach the final. But both the teams enhanced their performance as the tournament advanced.