Republica: Members of Machhindra Club pose for a group photo with the trophy after winning the Mai Valley Gold Cup in Ilam on Saturday.
ILAM, March 8: Player-of-the-match Andres Niya’s solo strike inspired Machhindra Football Club to a 1-0 win against host team Mai Valley Football Club to secure the sixth edition of Mai Valley Gold Cup in Ilam on Saturday. The championship is Machhindra’s third trophy in the calendar year after winning the Satakshi Gold Cup and Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League earlier in the season.
The match was pushed towards injury time after the 90 minutes ended on a goal-less draw. The playing conditions were dire in the second half as heavy rain made life difficult for the players in the deteriorating pitch. Machhindra’s overseas recruit Niya was the difference between the sides as the Kathmandu outfit secured the title. The A-Division winners participated for the first time in the Gold Cup whereas the host team reached the final for the first time in six years.
Machhindra received Rs 800,000 while the host secured Rs 500,000. Machhindra had booked a place in the final after defeating Mane Vanjyang FC of India in the semi-final whereas Mai Valley FC overcame departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club in the sudden death to seal the final spot.
Mai Valley’s Shyam Basnet was recognized as the player-of-the-tournament and received a cash prize of Rs 115,000. Similarly, his team-mates Tshering Gurung and Dev Limbu won the best defender and best goal-keeper awards respectively.
Likewise, the other set of awards were claimed by Machhindra players and officials. Yogesh Gurung, Andres Niya and head coach Prabesh Katwal won best midfielder, striker and coach awards respectively. Each individual winners received a cash prize of Rs 25,000.