Sankata, Rupandehi to vie for Nepalgunj title today
March 16, 2017 07:54 AM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUNJ, March 16: CMG Club Sankata and Rupandehi XI are set to battle in the summit clash of the Tuborg Second Nepalgunj Gold Cup Football Tournament on Thursday. The champion of the tournament will bag a purse of Rs 500,000 while the runner-up will be rewarded with Rs 251,000.
A-Division outfit Sankata which has played maximum number of finals this season in domestic tournaments is eyeing to lift its fourth trophy of the season.
Under the tutelage of former player Salyan Khadgi, Sankata has already bagged titles of Bikash Running Shield, Tilottama Gold Cup and Simara Gold Cup defeating Tribhuvan Army Club in all three finals. It also had reached the final of Budhasubba Gold Cup and Khaptad Gold Cup this season.
It will be the second meeting between the two sides in the season. Earlier Sankata had overcome the challenge of Rupandehi XI in the semifinal of Budhasubba Gold Cup 2-1.
Sankata’s head coach Khadgi says the club is moving with a new philosophy which has resulted in the winning form. Since the appointment of Khadgi as head coach, Sankata signed nine new players including three foreigners for this season. “We are in good form, so our primary objective is to win this tournament and add another feather in hat. We are moving with a new philosophy and target,” said Khadgi.
“We want to establish ourselves as strong team in domestic football so we are trying to win every tournament we participate in,” added Khadgi, who has spent 15 years with the club as a player.
Khadgi, who has AFC B license, expects tough fight from Rupandehi XI labeling the finalist as a strong team. “Rupandehi XI has a balanced squad and the team coordination is very good. Their upfront has been too dangerous this season so if we manage to stop them we can beat them,” said Khadgi. Rupandehi XI has Amar Dangol and Shiva Subedi in the front line. The former national team striker Amar has experience of playing with A Division club Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT).
Meanwhile, Khadgi fears that poor turf of Nepalgunj could affect the team’s performance. “The ground condition is very poor so it has prevented all the teams including us to play our real game,” said Khadgi.
He also informed that defender Patrick will not be available for final match due to double yellow cards. However, skipper Rabi Silwal who had missed the semifinal clash due to hamstring injury, will be available for the summit clash.
Before cementing its place in the final, Sankata had defeated Armed Police Force (APF) 2-1 and host Far-western XI 5-3 in the tiebreaker after 1-1 draw in regulation time.
Meanwhile, Rupandehi XI’s head coach Daya Ram Sapkota said his players were highly motivated after beating two big teams Manang Marsyangdi Club and Nepal Police Club before reaching the final. Rupandehi XI had defeated Manang and Police with similar scoreline of 2-1. “We overcame two big teams before securing place in the final so the boys are highly motivated. If we continue our form against Sanakata in the final, we can become the champion,” said Sapkota.
Rupandehi had lifted Udayapur Gold Cup trophy a month ago after defeating Morang XI 4-3. Rupandehi had also reached the final of Surunga Gold Cup where it was beaten by Armed Police Force (APF) in tie breaker.