Hetauda Gold Cup
Hetauda, Jan 9, 2017:Â Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) overcame a tight schedule and a 10-man Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) 2-0 to win the second Hetauda Gold Cup football tournament title here on Saturday.
Bharat Khawas and Santosh Tamang scored either side of the break as TAC, playing the final in less than 24 hours after their 4-1 semi-final win over Rupandehi XI, coasted to victory. The champions earned a cash purse of Rs 500,000 and runners-up MMC got Rs 300,000 after they failed to defend the title.
TAC went ahead in the 18th minute through Khawas with the unmarked national team scorer finding the back of the nets from the box after a through pass from Deepak Gurung. MMC were left shell-shocked a minute later when Fifa referee Sudish Pandey gave African recruit Oladipo Olawale Afeez marching orders for his second bookable offence within a minute.
Afeez, who had scored three goals for MMC prior to the final and could have been key man for their title defense, was shown a yellow card after he was adjudged to have fouled Tamang. Afeez then got the second yellow for swearing at the referee.
TAC took a full numerical advantage controlling the entire game but had to wait till the 84th minute to get their second goal. The Armymen earned a free kick just outside the area after another MMC African recruit Sissoko brought down Khawas. Tamang took the free kick and converted his shot into a spectacular goal leaving MMC custodian Dinesh Thapa Magar unmoved.
MMC had few goal scoring chances but Sujal Shrestha, Anil Gurung and Bimal Rana missed out on all occasions after TAC keeper Bikesh Kuthu displayed his best. Tamang was later adjudged the best player of the tournament and got Rs 50,000.
Kuthu, MMC defender Biraj Maharjan, TAC midfielder Tamang, Khawas and TAC coach Nabin Neupane won the individual awards. They pocketed Rs 15,000 apiece. The tournament was organised by Suman Bhomjan Memorial Foundation in the memory of former Gorkhapatra sports scribe Suman Bhomjan who had died during the April 25 earthquake in 2015.
ByÂ Pratap Bista