Aaha-Rara Gold Cup

Host Sahara, Far West to vie in curtain raiser

Published On: January 16, 2017 09:25 PM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

POKHARA, Jan 17: Host Sahara Club and Far-Western XI Sporting Club are set to meet for the first time in the inaugural match of the 15th edition of Aaha-Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament on Tuesday. 

Both the teams are looking to register victory in their first meeting to be held at Pokhara Stadium in Kaski. Far-Western XI's head coach Suresh Hamal said that his team will play for win. “This is the first clash against Sahara and we are ready to face them. We have good team and it is also set properly so I am hopeful for positive result. We will obviously play for a win,” said head coach Hamal. 

Host Sahara is the defending champion of the tournament while Far-Western XI had clinched Nepalgunj Gold Cup last year. Far-Western XI, which was formed two years ago, recently organized Sudur Paschim Gold Cup in Dhangadhi in order to give recognition to the club. However, in the tournament, Far-Western XI couldn't cross the semifinal as it lost to Sankata Club in the last four clash 1-0 at the home ground. 

“Despite having good team we were not a recognized name in football. We gained little recognition after winning Nepalgunj Gold Cup. So, to build up on that, we recently organized Sudur Paschim Khaptad Gold Cup,” said head coach Hamal. 

He also said that his team has closely watched Sahara and facing the home team won't be that much tough. “The players are bit tired after long travel, but we will play beautiful football to please the local spectators,” added head coach Hamal. He also informed that his team is studded with domestic talents.

The clash against Far-Western XI will be tough says Sahara's head coach Kiran Shrestha. However, he was confident over his players to deliver positive result. “As we recently played Hetauda Gold Cup and Sudur Paschim Gold Cup we have set our team.

Far-Western is a strong opponent but we are confident of beating them at home ground,” said head coach Shrestha. He also informed that Sahara has three foreign players in the squad. Sahara had reached the last four at Hetauda Gold Cup while it crashed out from the quarterfinal from Sudur Paschim Gold Cup. 

The Aaha-Rara Gold Cup will see participation of 12 teams, according to organizer Sahara Club of Pokhara. The tournament will feature three teams from abroad and nine teams of the country including big guns of A Division.  

Besides host Sahara and Far-Western XI, three departmental teams Nepal Police Club, Armed Police Force Club and Tribhuvan Army Club will compete in the tournament.

Sankata Club, Manang Marshyangdi Club, Dharan Football Club and Jhapa XI are other domestic sides to take part in the tournament. ANA Football Team from USA, Sikkim United of West Bengal, India and Farashganj Sports Club of Bangladesh are the foreign teams to join the competition. 

The winner and the runner-up will bag purse of Rs 501,000 and Rs 251,000 respectively along with trophies and medals. The best player of the tournament will be awarded a scooter. Similarly, the best players in four positions - goalkeeping, defense, midfield and forward - as well as the coach will be rewarded with Rs 15,000. The highest scorer will get Rs 25,000.  

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