Army beat Manang in final, again

Jhapa, December 1

Inspired by goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu’s brilliant show, Tribhuvan Army Club defeated Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club 3-2 in penalty shootout and won the title of the Mechi Netralaya Kakarvitta Gold Cup Football Tournament here today.

The winners of the final match were decided on penalties after both the teams failed to find the back of the nets in the regulation period. This is the second consecutive title victory for TAC over MMC in two weeks. The Armymen had beaten MMC 2-1 to win the Satakshi Gold Cup title in Jhapa on November 23.

In today’s match, TAC custodian Kuthu denied three players of MMC in the spot-kick battle to hand the departmental side their second title in eight days. Kuthu saved the kicks from MMC skipper Anil Gurung, Kamal Shrestha and Nirajan Malla, while Bimal Gurung and Heman Gurung converted their shots.

Santosh Tamang, Nawayug Shrestha and Bibek Basnet netted goals on penalties for TAC, while Jitendra Karki shot wide and Padam Tamang was denied by MMC goalie Dinesh Thapa Magar.

Champions TAC took home Rs 800,000, while runners-up MMC got Rs 400,000. TAC skipper Bharat Khawas was named the man-of-the-final and earned Rs 10,000. MMC goalkeeper Dinesh Thapa Magar was adjudged the best player of the tournament and earned a purse of Rs 51,000, while TAC’s Dinesh Henjan was the highest scorer and he pocketed Rs 25,000.

TAC skipper Khawas was named the best striker, while Bikesh Khuthu got the best goalkeeper’s award. Similarly, TAC’s Nabin Neupane was named the best coach of the tournament. MMC’s Bishal Rai was awarded with the best midfielder award and Kakarvitta Training Centre’s Dipen Rai was adjudged the best defender.

The individual award winners got Rs 25,000 each. Kakarvitta’s Milan Rai was named the emerging player and he got Rs 10,000.