Sudurpaschim, Three Star aim for first trophyThe home team are playing in their first final, while Three Star lost in title decider last year.
Hosts Sudurpaschim XI and Three Star Club will be aiming for their maiden Sudurpaschim Khaptad Gold Cup title when they meet in the final in Dhangadhi on Tuesday.
It is the first time that the hosts have made it to the tournament final since its inception four years ago. Three Star are playing their second final in as many years. They lost to Nepal Police Club in last year’s title decider.
Home team’s forward Bikram Singh Thakuri has been on form, scoring in their last two wins—against Kanchanjunga FC of India in the quarter-finals and Nepal Armed Police Force on the way to the final. In both the encounters, Sudurpaschim had started on an offensive note and took the lead within 20 minutes. Thakuri had netted twice in both the games.
Home team’s coach Rohit Bhandari hopes of another pressing game from his wards in the final. “Though we did not have much ball possessions in the last two matches, we grabbed the goal-scoring opportunities and played pressing football,” said Bhandari. “Having better ball possession counts for nothing until you score a goal in football.”
“Three Star are a strong side and we’ll have to give it all if we are to beat them. We are eager to set history winning the first ever major trophy for Sudurpaschim,” added Bhandari.
Three Star, meanwhile, are aiming to get over last year’s defeat and return home with a season’s first silverware. They finished runners-up to Machhindra in the Satashi Gold Cup in Jhapa earlier this month.
The star-studded Three Star side have scored three goals in two matches without conceding any. With Nepali internationals captain Bikram Lama and Ananta Tamang holding their fort, the hosts will have to be extra sharp to breach the visiting side’s defence.
“We have a young team. Our ambition is to win the trophy playing an attractive brand of football,” Three Star coach Meghraj KC said.