Three Star off to winning start

Itahari, January 20

Ruslan Three Star Club defeated Nepal APF Club and advanced to the semi-finals of the Madan Bhandari Memorial Itahari Gold Cup Football Tournament here today.

Three Star, playing their second tournament since opting out of the football activities in protest to All Nepal Football Association’s negligence in registering their entry in the AFC Cup 14 months ago, rode on Ajayi Martin’s brace to knock out the departmental side. Another foreign recruit of Three Star, Peter Segun netted an own goal.

Martin put Three Star ahead in the 38th minute to take a 1-0 lead going into the break. Martin then doubled the tally in the second minute of the second half and that also earned him the man-of-the-match award along with Rs 10,000. Peter scored into his own nets in 69th minute but Three Star held on to the lead and won the match.

Earlier, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the tournament at the Itahari Stadium. A total of eight teams are taking part in the event, the biggest football tournament in terms of cash prize. The winners will be richer by Rs 1.2 million and will also receive a trophy laced with 2.5-tola gold and 80-tola silver. The runners-up will take home Rs 500,000.

Three Star will now face the winners of the match between Tribhuvan Army Club and Druk United. On Sunday, Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club take on Rumpum Jhapa-XI.