POKHARA, Jan 24: Dhangadhi’s Far-western XI has made a winning start in the curtain-raiser of the 16th Aaha Rara Gold Cup, defeating host Sahara Club 3-0 on Tuesday.
Far-western has managed to get the revenge against Sahara, who defeated Far-western 4-0 in the last edition of the tournament.
At the Pokhara Stadium, Far-western took lead in the 25th minutes with a goal from Dhan Bahadur Thapa. Thapa converted a shot from the penalty box to score the first goal of the tournament.
Far-western, who was constantly putting pressure on Sahara, kept their momentum going in the second half of the match as well. Mani Ram Chaudhary doubled the away team’s lead in the 78th minute of the match and Rakesh Hamal silenced the crowd in the injury time to give Far-western a deserved win.
“We could not even score after getting a chance near the goal line. We were unlucky not to score despite getting many chances in front of the goal,” Sahara’s head coach Kiran Shrestha said. “We had brought in foreign players last year, but I felt it’s not easy to play only local players.”
Sahara had failed to utilize its chances to score in the match. Uttam Gurung’s 18th minute strike went just over the bar, while Binod Gurung missed a one-versus-one.
Far-western’s Chaudhary was rewarded with the man-of-the-match award for his contributions and was given a cash prize of Rs 5,000.
Far-western’s head coach Suresh Hamal said that his players played well despite being tired. “We came straight here after playing in Dang on Saturday,” Hamal said, “We did not even get to practice for the match, but despite being tired, the boys played well.” A total of 12 teams including two foreign teams are participating in the tournament.
Mayor of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City Man Bahadur GC praised Sahara Club for producing talented players in Pokhara and providing orphan children with shelter. “This tournament has not only produced talented players, but has also increased the pride of Pokhara,” GC said, “These kind of activities help a lot in making the capital of sports for tourism hub Pokhara.”