Manang win Aaha-Rara Gold Cup

Pokhara, January 30

Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club won the title of the 14th Aaha-Rara Gold Cup with a 1-0 victory over Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) here today.

Subash Gurung scored the solitary goal of the match that shattered TAC’s hopes of lifting their maiden trophy. After a barren first half, Gurung broke the deadlock in the 49th minute utilising a corner from Sujal Shrestha. TAC ended up with runners-up for the third time. MMC walked away with Rs 501,001, while TAC received Rs 251,001.

Earlier, Afeez Olawale’s strike in the 10th minute was easily grabbed by TAC goalkeeper Sushil Shrivastav. In 32nd minute Rajib Gurung wasted a chance to give TAC lead as his shot went wide of the post following a cross from Tanka Basnet. The first half ended with goalless draw as Olawale failed to score from six-yard box in 39th minute.

Deep Lama’s chip shot in the 69th minute was punched by MMC goalie Kiran Chemjong, who was later adjudged the man-of-the-match.

MMC coach Tshring Lopsang said the team’s performance was satisfactory. “TAC performed better than us as they dominated the match. My boys utilised the chance and we were able to hold on the lead,” Lopsang said. TAC coach Meghraj KC rued the wasted opportunities, especially in the first half “MMC utilised one chance they got which was enough for them to win the title,” he said.

Kiran Chemjong, Olawale and Tshring Lopsang of MMC received the best goalkeeper, striker and coach trophy, while Deep Lama and Hiranya Magar of TAC were named the best midfielder and defender. All five individuals received Rs 15,000 each. Biswas Shrestha of MMC was declared the best player of the tournament and was awarded with a Scooter and Rs 25,000. A total of 12 teams competed in the tournament.