Army clash with police today

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 2:

Tribhuvan Army Club will take on Mahendra Police Club in the final of the fifth Khukuri Cup football tournament here today.The match is the replay of the first edition of the event held in Pokhara in 1997, where the armymen outplayed MPC 1-0 to lift the trophy. The two departmental teams are facing each other in the final after 13 years in Kathmandu. They last played in the final of the BP Memorial Gold Cup in 1991.The second edition final was held in two legs — in Butwal and Biratnagar. Ranipokhri Corner Team (RCT) won both the matches and the trophy with the aggregate score of 3-1.The tournament came to the capital from the third edition onwards. The policemen again entered the final against Manang Marsyangdi Club in 1999, but failed to clinch the trophy.

In the fourth edition of the tournament held after the gap of four years, Manang Marsyangdi Club made it to final against ANFA Academy in 2003. Basanta Thapa scored the golden goal to give MMC its first Khukuri Cup.However, the defending champions were routed by MPC in the pre-quarters of the fifth edition.The policemen are looking forward to win the title after defeating title favourites MMC. But the weak mid-field and the absence of injured striker Ramesh Budhathoki are likely to give a hard time to MPC.The armymen, who entered the final for the first time since 1997, have become heavy favourites for the title, with strong defence and lively mid-field. Tribhuvan Army Club will also have the advantage of Mani Chamling’s poor goalkeeping.