Sports

Budha Subba Gold Cup: Resurgent NPC eye MMC scalp

- PRADEEP MENYANGBO, Dharan

Mar 5, 2016-

A resurgent Nepal Police Club (NPC) will be eyeing an upset when they take on high-flying Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) in the final of the 18th Budha Subba Gold Cup here on Saturday.

NPC ended their one-year trophy drought by winning the Birat Gold Cup in Biratnagar on February 28 in a tournament they played as a replacement for a Bangladeshi club. The seventh-place finishers of the National League, NPC have seen their football on a slide in recent years due to ageing players and inexperienced set of boys.

But after ending the trophy drought last week, the final at the Anfa Technical Centre on Saturday will give the fallen giants another opportunity to show they are not yet a spent force. The three-time ‘A’ Division League champions NPC have four Budha Subba titles to their name.

NPC coach Ananta Thapa believed the return in form of veterans Jumanu Rai, Bhola Silwal and Suman Subedi has rejuvenated his side. “Our boys’ have been improving match-by-match. MMC are going to be tough and I believe our boys will be raring to lift the title. We will give our best,” said Thapa.

NPC started the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Share Football Club of Kalimpong before edging Rupandehi XI 1-0 in the semi-finals. The policemen had beaten MMC in tiebreaker in the quarter-finals of the Birat Gold Cup.

But MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung is looking to avenge their recent defeat with victory on Saturday. “We will be committed to restrict NPC to runners-up. Our boys are playing pretty well in the front line and we will take advantage of the mistakes to get a better hand in the game,” said Gurung.

MMC had a rollicking start to their campaign. They opened the tournament with a crushing 8-0 victory over CFC of Bhutan before edging Nepal Armed Police Force Club 3-2 in the semi-finals. “We cannot afford to miss the scoring chances. Any team that misses opportunities are going to pay tomorrow (Saturday),” said Gurung.

The MMC squad consists of seven players who have experience of playing with the national team, while their three African recruits willbe an added advantage for them in terms of pace.

Published: 05-03-2016 09:56

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