Udaypur, February 17, 2017:Â Rupandehi XI has claimed the title of the Fourth Rumpum Udaypur Gold Cup 2073 football tournament on Thursday defeating Morang XI 4-3 on penalties in the final played at the Tharuhat Stadium in Gaighat, Udayapur.
It was the first occasion that a district team took home the title of the tournament against the likes of capital based A Division teams. Earlier, Three Star was crowned the champion in the first two editions while the third edition title went to African United comprising of African players.
Winner Rupandehi bagged a purse of Rs 200,000 along with trophy while Morang was rewarded with Rs 100,000.
The fate of the champion was decided directly through spotkick after the regulation time finished in a goalless draw. Both the sides converted the first three shots from the spot. But the fourth and fifth shots turned out to be the deciding factor.
Morang skipper Niraj Basnet, Buddhiman Rai and Bikash Khawas converted their shots from the spot while Rupandehi’s Saurav Magar, Buddha Chemjong and Uttam Gurung were also successful in converting the Â first three shots from the spot. But Morang’s player Bidur Rijal and Anos Magar missed the following shots. Rupandehi’s Kalu Magar also missed the fourth strike from the spot but goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri converted the fifth shot as the shootout ended 4-3 in favor of Rupandehi.
Rupandehi was studded with experienced players like Dipak Rai, Amar Dangol, Buddha Chemjong and African player Peter Segun among others while the Morang consisted of young faces of U-16 and U-19 age group. The young guns of Morang came up with a spirited show and gave tough fight to the physically superior opponent.
Rupandehi’s African player Peter Segun was declared the man-of-the-match. Niraj Basnet of Morang took home the best player award while Rupandehi goalie Dilip Chhetri won the best goalkeeper award. Dilip and Niraj were rewarded with Rs 10,000 each and Peter was given Rs 5,000.
The winners were rewarded by ANFA President Narendra Shrestha, Udayapur CDO Kali Prasad Parajuli among others.
ByÂ Maheshwor Chamling Rai