Hosts Sahara hammer Far-west in opening tie

Pokhara, January 17

Hosts Sahara Club of Pokhara thrashed Far-west Sporting Club 4-0 and advanced to the quarter-finals of the 15th Aaha-Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium today.

Ajayi Martins Kiyode netted a brace, while Richard Pun and Peter Segun scored a goal each in Sahara Club’s victory in the inaugural match of the tournament. Martins opened the scoring for Sahara Club in the sixth minute and Richard Pun found the back of the nets in the 27th minute to double the tally.

Hosts dominated the match from the beginning and continued their domination as Peter Segun made it 3-0 in the 38th minute. Although, Far-west conceded three goals in the first half, Sahara Club managed only one goal after the interval.

Martins netted his second goal of the match in the 82nd minute capitalising on Shiva Subedi’s cross to help the home team seal an impressive victory. Far-west tried hard to cut the deficit and charged the opponent’s post but failed to find the back of the nets. Skipper Mani Ram Chaudhary’s found the back of the nets in the 30th minute but that was ruled offside, while Sahara Club glovesman Sujit Gurung denied Chetan Tharu’s long shot.

Sahara Club coach Kiran Shrestha said his side produced the victory by converting the opportunities created during the match. “We won the match comfortably as the opponents came under pressure after conceding early goal,” said Shrestha. Far-west manager Sushan Joshi said his side was unfortunate as skipper Mani Ram Chaudhary was not fully fit for the match.

A total of 12 teams from Nepal, USA, India and Bangladesh are competing in the tournament organised by Sahara Club. The top two teams will earn Rs 501,001 and Rs 251,001 respectively, while the best player of the tournament will receive a Hero scooter. The highest goal scorer will get Rs 25,000, while the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker and coach will be awarded with Rs 15,000 each.