Pokhara, February 20:

Hosts Sahara Pokhara registered a 2-0 win over Rupandehi-XI on the opening day of the fifth Aaha Gold Cup football tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium today.

Rajan Adhikari and Santosh KC scored a goal each. Adhikari provided Sahara an early lead in the seventh minute following a cross from Jaya Thapa, who is also the captain of the relegation-threatened ‘A’ Division club Saraswoti. KC added the another goal six minutes from time on a freekick from Anil Gurung.

Rupendehi coach Yam Prasad Gurung said they were forced to field less experienced players. “We were unable to bring our first choice players, who are currently busy at the Martyrs Memorial National League Football in Kathmandu,” said Gurung.

Sahara Club coach Dambar Singh Gurung said that they should have won the match by even better margin but the opponents tightened their defence after falling behind by a goal.

Ashok Pun of Rupendehi was adjudged the man of the match.

Earlier, member secretary of the National Sports Council Jeevan Ram Shrestha inaugurated the 12-team tournament.

The final is scheduled for March 3. Defending champions African United will take on Dharan Football Club on Wednesday.