KATHMANDU — Nepal won first international title in 23 years, beating Bahrain U-23 team 3-0 in the final of Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Dhaka on Friday.
The victory has lifted the melancholy thrown by the inclusion of five national players including former captain Sagar Thapa in fixing matches, for which they were banned for life from football.
However, the final of the invitational tournament played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka has not got international recognition from FIFA.
Bimal Gharti Magar, Bishal Rai and Nawayug Shrestha scored one each to guide Nepal to the tremendous victory at the Bangabandhu International Stadium.
Bimal Gharti Magar had made an early leap forward for Nepal in the fifth moment, while Bishal Rai multiplied the count on the 87th moment, using Anjan Bista’s pass.
Nawayug Shrestha, who scored hat-trick in the elimination rounds against Maldives, added the third goal in the first minute of the added five-minute stoppage time. Magar assisted Shrestha for the spectacular goal on a header.
Both Nepal and Bahrain were restricted to 10-man each in the 81st minute as Nepal’s forward Suman Lama and Bahrain’s midfielder Ahmed Althuwani were booked after they got involved in a brawl.
Nepal’s goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu, who conceded only one goal in the entire tournament, saved some good attacks by Bahrain lads. Altogether Nepal scored eight goals in the tournament.
Shrestha was the highest scorer of the tournament with four goals in his credit. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Magar was awarded the Man of the Final.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed congratulated the Nepal team.
She handed over cheque worth USD 50,000 to the Nepal team’s manager and USD 25,000 to the Bahrain team manager, and distributed medals to the players and officials.
Nepal had won the South Asian Games at the same stadium in 1993 in Raju Shakya’s captaincy while the present coach Bal Gopal Maharjan was a member from the winning team.Follow @gorkhapost
Country marking today as Black Day
KATHMANDU- The country is marking today (December 16) as Black Day to protest the disposition of the first democratically elected government by the late former king Mahendra Shah on December 15, 1960.
Mahendra took charge of the state with the help of the then Royal Nepali Army and formulated the Panchayat System by overthrowing the elected government led by B.P. Koirala and dissolving the parliament.
Various programmes are scheduled on the occasion.Follow @gorkhapost