TAC beat MMC to claim Hetauda Gold Cup

Hetauda, January 7

Tribhuvan Army Club defeated 10-man Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club 2-0 to win the title of the second Tuborg Hetauda Gold Cup International Invitational Football Tournament here at the Forestry University grounds today.

Skipper Bharat Khawas and Santosh Tamang netted a goal each for TAC, which also avenged their last year’s defeat in the final. Khawas opened the scoring in the 18th minute following a pass from Deepak Gurung. MMC were reduced to 10 men one minute later when FIFA Referee Sudish Pandey expelled Afiz Olawale, who received a yellow for a foul against Santosh Tamang and was red-carded instantly after he reacted angrily towards the referee.

TAC, who took lead in the first half, added another goal after the interval. Tamang converted a free kick into a sensational goal with a cool finish in the 84th minute.

Earlier, MMC almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Sujal Shrestha struck a powerful shot from outside the box but TAC custodian Bikesh Kuthu collected the ball in second attempt. MMC came close to levelling the score moments after the break but skipper Anil Gurung failed to give the final touch.

Similarly, TAC’s Santosh Tamang saw his powerful shot saved by MMC goalie Dinesh Thapa Magar in the seventh minute, while Khawas missed an opportunity in one-on-one situation with the MMC custodian in the 12th minute.

After the match, MMC officials and players tried to attack referee Pandey and they also walked out of the ground before ANFA President Narendra Shrestha and Vice-president Bir Bahadur Khadka convinced them to attend the presentation ceremony.

Champions TAC earned Rs 500,000, while runners-up MMC got Rs 300,000 along with the trophies. TAC’s Santosh Tamang was named the best player of the tournament and got Rs 50,000. He also received Rs 15,000 after being announced as the best midfielder. TAC skipper Khawas was named the man-of-the-match and also got the best forward’s award, while his teammate Bikesh Kuthu was adjudged the best goalkeeper. TAC’s Nabin Neupane was declared the best coach, while Biraj Maharjan of MMC was named the best defender. They received Rs 15,000 each.

Meanwhile, sports journalist Pratap Bista was awarded with the Suman Bhomjan Journalism Award worth Rs 15,555. Rastriya Prajatantra Party President Kamal Thapa and ANFA President Narendra Shrestha among others handed over the prizes. A total of 10 teams took part in the event organised by Suman Bhomjan Memorial Sports Foundation under the sponsorship of Gorkha Brewery Pvt Ltd.