PRAVAT KUMAR JHA
CHANDRANIGAHAPUR: Hosts Rautahat hammered Nawalparasi 12-0 in the inaugural match of the 14th Ncell National Women’s Football Championship here today.
Menuka Thapa and Renuka Nagarkoti struck hat-tricks while Roshni Rakhal and Sapana Lama added two goals each. Sunita Lama also joined in the goal feast while Manju Thapa compounded the Nawalparasi’s woe when she conceded an own goal in the 22nd minute.
Roshi Rakhal opened the goal-scoring spree early in the fifth minute as Rautahat ran rampage adding one after another goals. Menuka scored her first goal in the fifth, added second in the 29th and complete a hat-trick with a 57th minute goal. Renuka also completed her hat-trick in the 54th minute after scoring earlier in the 18th and 39th minute. Sapana struck in the 35th and 64th minute before Roshni completed the rout with her second goal in the 77th minute.
In all, 27 teams — 24 districts and three departmental teams — are participating in the tournament. The winners will earn Rs 300,000. Tribhuvan Army Club and Taplejung District will make their debut from the tournament. Other departmental sides include Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club and Nepal Police Club.
The runners-up will bag a purse of Rs 150,000, while the losing semi-finalists will get Rs 50,000 each and the best player of the tournament will get a scooter. Five best individuals — forward, midfielder, goalkeeper, defender and coach — will get Rs 25,000 each.
The event serves as a preliminary selection for the SAFF Championships scheduled for September in Sri Lanka. Rautahat will play host to 12 games, while 14 matches including the final will be staged in Bara.
Hosts Rautahat, Nawalparasi, Taplejung, Surkhet, Kailali, Saptari, Morang, Bardiya, Dolakha, Jhapa, Dhanusha, Panchthar and APF will play in Chandranigahapur with the winners taking on the finalist from the Bara leg. Udyapur, Kathmandu, Kanchanpur, Dhankuta, Bara, Makwanpur, NPC, Sarlahi, Kaski, TAC, Rupandehi, Sunsari, Chitwan and Banke will play their matches in Simara.
Taplejung will take on Surkhet and Bara will meet Udaypur on Sunday.
Earlier, the National Sports Council member secretary Yubaraj Lama inaugurated the tournament. All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President and Ganesh Thapa, who is also the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president, was also present on the occasion.