By Rup Narayan Dhakal : Pokhara—NOC Manang Marshyangdi Club grabbed the title of 18th Aaha Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament here in Pokhara Stadium on Saturday. Defeating departmental Nepal Police Club 4-3 in penalty shootout, MMC became champions for the 6th time of the tournament organized by Sahara Club Pokhara.
Following this victory, MMC bagged Rs 1 million while runner up NPC Rs 0.5 million. As there happened no goal in regular 90 minute and extra 30-minute time, the match was decided through spot kick. In penalty shootout, Anjan Bista, Pujan Uparkoti, Suraj BK and Ranjan Bista scored for MMC while substitute captain Bhola Silwal, Hem Tamang and Buddha Tamang netted the ball for NPC. But the shot from Tej Tamang was denied by MMC goalie Ashok Baral and Ajit Baral’s shot bounced back blowing the bar. Similarly, Nishan Limbu also failed to score as NPC goalie saved his shot.
Earlier NPC had won six titles of Aaha Rara including Caravan Gold Cup. Speaking to media, MMC captain Fuja Tope said that MMC players played very well and added the the match remained very tough. Likewise, NPC coach Ananta Raj Thapa took the result natural as it was decided through spot kick.
According to Sahara Club General Secretary Ramji Prasad Adhikari, a total of 10 teams including one from India took part in the tournament sponsored by Himshree Foods Pvt. Ltd. National Sports Council Member Secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal, Himshree’s executive chairman Surya Bahadur KC, ANFA central chairman Karma Tshering Shrepa and Sahara Club Chairman Keshav Bahadur Thapa also put their remarks during the concluding ceremony.
Best player: Ajit Bhandari, NPC
Besl goalie: Ashok Baral, MMC
Best defender: Suraj BK, MMC
Best midfielder: Nitin Thapa, MMC
Best forward: Anjan Bista, MMC
Best coach: Fuja Tope, MMC
Highest scorer: Bharat Shah, Anjan Bista, Nir Kumar Rai, Suman Susan Shrestha and Tri Dev Gurung. (2 goals each)