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 â€˜Aâ€™ 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. â€œWe were unable to bring our first choice players, who are currently busy at the Martyrs Memorial National League Football in Kathmandu,â€ 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.