Hosts Nava Janajagriti off to winning start

Bara, January 17

Hosts Nava Janajagriti Youth Club registered a 3-0 victory over Makawanpur-XI in the opening match of the 10th Ruslan Simara Gold Cup here today.

Niraj Thapa Magar scored a brace, while Prajwal Thapa Magar netted one goal for the hosts at the Simara Stadium. After a goalless first half, Niraj opened the scoring in a rebound moments after the break. Makawanpur goalkeeper Anish Deula blocked a free kick from Suraj Thakuri but he failed to collect the ball and Niraj slotted home in the 46th minute.

Prajwal doubled the tally in the 60th minute after he snatched the ball from Makawanpur defender inside the penalty area and scored an easy goal. Niraj sealed the victory with his second goal of the match in the 71st minute following a cross from Mohit. Niran was named the man of the match and he received Rs 10,000.

NJYC coach Sonu Chhetri expressed happiness and lauded the efforts from his players. “I am very happy with the performance of the team which is full of local players,” said Chhetri. “Two days ago, we had lost against Tribhuvan Army Club in Birgunj. We were able to correct the mistakes and the lesson learnt in Birgunj was useful in the match against Makawanpur,” he added.

Makawanpur coach Bijay Lal Shrestha said the team was outplayed in the second half after they went in with offensive strategy. “I am satisfied with the overall performance of the team but we were not successful in the team plan of offensive play in the second half,” said Shrestha.

On Friday, Nepal APF Club will play against Bishal Memorial Foundation of Birgunj. A total of 10 teams are taking part in the tournament. The winners will earn Rs 600,000, while the runners-up will get Rs 300,000. Earlier, Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Sunar inaugurated the tournament.