Three Star beat Police in final

Sunsari, February 10

Ruslan Three Star Club defeated defending champions Nepal Police Club 1-0 in the final of the 20th Budha Subba Gold Cup here at the Dharan Stadium today.

Ajayi Martins scored the solitary goal of the match to help Three Star win their fifth title of the tournament but it cost dear for the Lalitpur-based club as skipper Bikram Lama was stretchered off with fractured leg.

Both teams were reduced to 10 men after NPC’s Hem Tamang and Three Star’s Peter Segun were expelled for being involved in manhandling. The two players were engaged in a scuffle after Three Star skipper Bikram Lama had his right leg fractured in a duel with departmental team’s Tej Tamang in the 27th minute.

Lama was rushed to BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences of Dharan and was later flown to Kathmandu. He has been admitted at Grande International Hospital and the team led by Dr Chakra Raj Pandey is scheduled to operate tonight. According to Three Star General Secretary Sanjeeb Shilpakar, Lama will be out of action for at least three months.

In the final match, Martins scored the match-winning goal in the first half injury time. Martins was named the man-of-the-match and he earned Rs 10,000. The win over NPC also avenged their Aaha Rara Gold Cup final loss last Saturday. Three Star, who have played four tournaments in the season since returning to the field after staying out of football for 14 months, had won the Madan Bhandari Memorial Itahari Gold Cup in Sunsari on January 27.

Three Star coach Meghraj KC said his side struggled in the absence of skipper Bikram Lama. “We won the match due to the hard work of the players. We also avenged the defeat faced in the final of 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup last week in Pokhara,” said KC, who dedicated the trophy to skipper Lama. NPC coach Ananta Raj Thapa said losing the midfielder in a bad incident was unfortunate for his side. “Failing to score despite creating goal scoring chances was another reason behind the defeat,” said Thapa.

Champions Three Star earned Rs 600,000 and runners-up NPC received Rs 300,000. Three Star also dominated individual awards. Nirajan Khadka was named the best player of the tournament and got a Yamaha motorbike along with Rs 25,000 for being the highest scorer. Khadka announced to reward the bike to his skipper Lama. Alen Neupane was named the best goalkeeper, while his teammate Lowel Olalekon got the best defender’s award, and Meghraj KC was declared the best coach.

Similarly, NPC’s Rejin Bubba was named the best striker and his teammate Suman Lama earned the best midfielder’s award. Dharan Football Club’s Roman Limbu received the best striker’s award. The individual award winners earned Rs 25,000 each.