Sudurpashchim Sports Club stun Three Star

Dhangadhi, March 3

Sudurpashchim-XI Sports Club defeated Ruslan Three Star Club 1-0 in the final of the Nepal Ice Sudurpashchim Khaptad Gold Cup here at the Dhangadhi Stadium today.

Bikram Singh Thakuri scored the solitary goal of the match as Sudurpashchim claimed their biggest achievement in club football. Thakuri found the back of the nets in the 28th minute when he slammed home past custodian Purna Chemjong after he intercepted Three Star defender Ananta Tamang’s pass to Ashok Khawas.

The loss meant Three Star finished runners-up for the second time in a row. The Lalitpur-based ‘A’ division outfit had lost to Nepal Police Club by the same margin in the previous edition. With the victory, Sudurpashchim pocketed Rs 2.1 million, while Three Star — who finished second in the Satakshi Gold Cup in Jhapa last week after losing 1-0 against San Miguel Machhindra Club — got one million rupees.

Earlier, Three Star skipper Bikram Lama rescued his team with a goalline clearance to deny Thakuri in the 22nd minute. Three Star came close to levelling the scores in the 43rd minute but Sudurpashchim goalkeeper Sujit BC saved Sushil Rai’s header.

Three Star created a couple of chances to score the equaliser but Sudurpashchim custodian stood firm on both occasions.

Ananta Tamang was denied by BC in the 61st minute, while substitute goalkeeper Pritam Khadka punched away Mikchhen Tamang’s powerful strike in the 80th minute.

At the other end, Thakuri almost got his second goal before being denied by Three Star goalkeeper Purna Chemjong in one-on-one situation in the injury time of the match.

Thakuri was also declared the best player of the tournament and he earned a Benelli motorcycle, while his teammate Madhav Bhandari won the man-of-the-match award along with Rs 10,000.

Sudurpashchim also bagged four individual awards — Thakuri (highest scorer), Dhanraj Thapa (defender), Bishnu Chaudhary (emerging player) and Rohit Bhandari (coach). Three Star’s Purna Chemjong was named the best goalkeeper, while his teammate Sushil Rai won the best midfielder’s award. The six individual award winners received Rs 15,000 each.

National Sports Council Member Secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal and President of Sudurpashchim Sports Club Suresh Hamal among others handed over the prizes to the winners of the biggest knockout tournament of the country in terms of cash prizes.