POKHARA, Jan 29: Nabil Three Star Club clinched the title of the Ninth Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament on Saturday. Three Star defeated Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) 1-0 in the final match held at the Pokhara Stadium.
Buddha Chemzong´s lone goal in the 24th minute decided the fate of the match.
Chemzong scored utilizing a free kick from Anil Ojha. Ojha´s shot was intercepted by Rajkumar Ghising which he passed on to Bijay Dhimal and then the ball found its way to Chemzong, which he slotted in.
MMC were under pressure from Three Star from the beginning. The pressure increased after the goal but MMC were not able to hit back despite some decent chances.
MMC could have taken the lead three minutes before Chemzong´s goal when Sujal Shrestha sent Bijay Gurung´s corner kick above the bar.
MMC missed a chance to equalize toward the end of the first half after Shiva Shrestha failed to score in a pass set by Ganesh Khadka. Last league´s highest scorer Santosh Sahukhala also missed a pass set by Khadka in the 60th minute.
Chemzong also failed to double the lead as he missed a shot after getting the ball in the penalty area in the 38th minute.
Three Star´s Biraj Maharjan was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
MMC coach Bal Gopal Maharjan admitted that his team couldn´t play as expected. He also said there was a lack of coordination in holding and supplying the ball which resulted in the loss. "We will try to correct our mistakes in the coming days," said Maharjan.
Three Star´s coach Megh Raj KC said his side won because of a good team work. "It was the fruit of our hard work," he said.
KC said he has led the club to 19 victories from 21 matches after taking charge of the club five months ago.
Three Star had also defeated MMC in the final of the British Gurkha Cup held about a month ago in the capital.
Three Star bagged a purse of Rs 200,000 with the victory while MMC settled for Rs 100,000. MMC´s Sujal Shrestha and Santosh Sahukhala became the highest scorers of the tournament with three goals each. Himalayan Sherpa Club bagged the award for the best disciplined team.
Three Star´s Sanjeev Budhathoki received a motor bike after being declared the best player of the tournament. Other winners were Megh Raj KC (best coach), Three Star´s Kiran Chemzong (best goalkeeper), MMC´s Deepak Bhusal (best defender), Anil Ojha (best midfielder) and Buddha Chemzong (best striker).
Altogether 12 teams from Nepal and abroad had participated in the 12-day tournament.