Three Star claim Itahari Gold Cup

Ruslan Three Star Club defeated Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club 1-0 to win the title of the Madan Bhandari Memorial Itahari Gold Cup Football Tournament here today.

Buddha Chemjong’s first half solitary goal was enough for Three Star to win the match against their arch rivals MMC.

Three Star won their first title in 14 months since they decided to stay away from football activities protesting All Nepal Football Association’s negligence that robbed the Lalitpur-based club an opportunity of participating in the second round of the AFC Cup.

Three Star returned to action from the Nepal Ice Farwest Khaptad Gold Cup in Dhangadhi last week after the ANFA agreed to provide them with compensation of Rs 15 million. Three Star had lost to eventual winners Tribhuvan Army Club in the quarter-final match of the tournament.

On Saturday, Chemjong found the back of the nets in the 36th minute to secure Three Star’s victory. Chemjong was named the man-of-the-final and got Rs 10,000.

Champions Three Star received Rs 1.2 million along with trophy made of 2.5-tola gold and 80-tola silver, while MMC earned Rs 600,000.

Three Star also dominated the individual awards winning four out of six.

Ananta Tamang was adjudged the best player of the tournament and he received Rs 25,000 and 42-inch TV, while Allen Neupane was named the best goalkeeper. Martins Ajayi got the best forward’s award and Meghraj KC was named the best coach.

Similarly, MMC duo Biraj Maharjan and Heman Gurung were declared the best defender and midfielder respectively. The individual award winners got Rs 20,000. Meanwhile, Three Star’s Ajayi and MMC’s Sujal Shrestha were the joint highest goal scorers and got received 15,000 each.

Abinash Limbu was lucky spectator and he received 32-inch television through lucky draw.

In all, eight teams took part in the tournament, the biggest domestic football event, organised by Rashtriya Jagriti Club in memory of former UML leader Madan Bhandari.