The RayZrs edge past Dhangadhi 1-0 in final of the franchise-based football tournament


Messouke E Oloumou scored the solitary goal as Kathmandu RayZrs defeated Dhangadhi Football Club 1-0 in the final of the Khukri Nepal Super League here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

The African recruit found the back of the net in the 21st minute and the goal was enough for Kathmandu to claim the trophy of the first-ever franchise-based football tournament. In the first notable move of the match, Kathmandu's Bishwas Shrestha snatched the ball from Dhangadhi's Bishal Rai and fed Oloumou, who dodged a couple of defenders before firing past diving goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu.

Kathmandu's another foreign recruit Stephen Binong shot over the bar in the 28th minute, while Oloumou came close to doubling the lead in the 45th minute but he ended up with a high shot after beating Ashok Khawas.

Dhangadhi missed a chance to level the scores in the 46th minute. Kathmandu goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu failed to collect the ball on a cross from Nishan Khadka but Dhangadhi's Buddha Bal Tamang failed to capitalise and wasted time before Dhangadhi defender Florent Koara made timely intervention to block the ball.

Dhangadhi wasted another opportunity five minutes later when Pujan Uperkoti muffed up a chance on Nishan Khadka's corner, while Kathmandu custodian Bikesh Kuthu brilliantly punched a shot from Ashok Khawas in the 53rd minutes.

Oloumou's free kick rebounded off the woodwork in the 74th minute, while Dhangadhi goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu made a spectacular saved to deny Stephen Binong one minute before the end. Florent Koara of Kathmandu was named the man of the match, while his teammate Rajan Gurung was declared the emerging player.

Dhangadhi duo Kiran Kumar Limbu and Dinesh Rajbanshi were named the best goalkeeper and defender respectively, while Kathmandu's Messouke E Oloumou was declared the best midfielder. Anjan Bista of Lalitpur City FC won the best forward's award, while Bal Gopal Maharjan of Kathmandu was declared the best coach. Biswas Shrestha of Kathmandu RayZrs was adjudged the emerging player of the tournament, while Butwal-Lumbini FC bagged the fair play award.

A total of seven teams took part in the first-ever franchise-based football tournament organised by Nepal Sports and Event Management Pvt Ltd under the sponsorship of Khukri. The winners of the event Kathmandu RayZrs received Rs 3.5 million, while the runners-up Dhangadhi FC earned Rs 1.5 million. The best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and emerging player of the tournament got Rs 100,000 each, wile man-ofthe-match and emerging player in each game received Rs 25,000 and 10,000 respectively.