Sports

Tilottama Gold Cup: Three Star gun down Police in final

- RAJU GHISING, AMRITA ANMOL, BUTWAL

Mar 18, 2018-

Three Star Club lifted the 20th Tilottama Gold Cup football tournament title after two second half goals gave them a 2-0 victory over Nepal Police Club in the final at the Anfa Technical Centre on Saturday. 

An own goal from Rabin Shrestha and header from skipper Nirajan Khadka was sufficient for the Lalitpur-based team to win their third title of the season within three months. Three Star have earlier won the Itahari Gold Cup and Budhasubba Gold Cup in Dharan. They had also reached the finals of Aaha-Rara Gold Cup in Pokhara and Simara Gold Cup in Simara but missed out at both occasions. 

The victory was also a sweet revenge for Three Star who were defeated 1-0 by Police in the final of the Aaha-Rara Gold Cup. Studded with young players, Rabi Paswan squandered scoring opportunity in an open minute in the 51st minute after he shot inches wide against the advancing Three Star goalie Alan Neupane. 

Three Star got the breakthrough in he 66th minute after an own goal from Shrestha. The NPC skipper was returning to field after a year-long injury layoff. Shrestha’s chest-pass to goalie Roshan Khadka entered the nets in his attempt to diffuse Bimal Gharti Magar’s cross. 

The suicide goal was the turning points of the match as the record four-time champions NPC had to press harder at Three Star goal. They even created equalising chance in the 76th minute but unmarked Tej Tamang and Paswan both failed to hit the target. Three Star skipper Khadka ensured the victory with second goal in the 80th minute. He headed a corner of Bal and was later declared the best player of the tournament. He rode a scooter as the best player.

“Despite having youth players in the squad, Police played really well,” Three Star coach Meghraj KC said. “The players are very much exhausted as we have been playing tournament continuously. So we might have failed to play to our potential. But presence of experience players in the squad made the difference for,” he added. 

His Police counterpart Ananta Raj Thapa said: “We executed our plans perfectly and did not give space to play the opponents openly. Though we had created scoring chances we failed to utilise them.” 

Three Star received Rs Rs 777,777 and NPC got Rs 444,444. Three Star’s Neupane won the best goalkeeper award while best coach award went to his coach KC. Hosts Rupandehi XI’s Purna Bahadur Shrestha (defender), Police’s Bhola Silwal (midfielder) and Rejin Subba (forward) won other individual awards. They got Rs 22,222 each.

Published: 18-03-2018 10:28

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