Three Star lift trophy

Hetauda, July 21:

Striker Surendra Tamang scored a late winner as Nabil Three Star Club beat New Road Team (NRT) 2-1 in the final of the Martyrs Memorial National Football Tournament today.

The win means Three Star won three titles in a row outside the Kathmandu Valley. The former national league champions had claimed titles at the Aaha Gold Cup in Pokhara and Budha Subba Gold Cup in Dharan in its last two outings.

Out-of-form midfielder Pradeep Maharjan scored his first goal of the tournament to put Three Star ahead early in the third minute. The lead, however, did not last longer as Nirajan Rayamajhi levelled the scores against his former club in the 13th minute.

The game was heading for tiebreaker with just six minutes left in the 20 minutes of the added time when man of the match Tamang scored the decider. It was also the first goal of Tamang during the tournament.

With one minute left, Three Star had a chance to widen the winning margin when they were awarded a spot kick for bringing down Tamang inside the box. But Pradeep squandered the chance hitting at the woodwork.

On its way to the final, Three Star had edged out Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club 2-1 in quarter-final and 3-0 in semi-final. The winners received a cheque of Rs 100,000 and the runner-up got Rs 50,000.

Ranjit Shrestha of NRT was adjudged the best player of the tournament while Nirajan Rayamajhi won the highest scorer award. CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, National Sports Council member secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha and All Nepal Football Association president Ganesh Thapa gave away the prizes.