After African United Club (AUC) touched cloud nine by winning the prestigious 4th Aaha Gold Cup a week ago, they defeated hosts Dharan FC 3-1 to clinch the title of 8th Buddha Subba Tuborg Gold Cup Football Tournament in Dharan today.
It was complete disarray for the hosts as they were bereft from winning the title after reaching the finals for the fourth time. AUC becomes the third foreign team to walk away with title. Indian Belgeria Sporting club and Bangladeshi Dhanmundi Club were the other teams to put their stamp on the Buddha Subba title.
Dharan FC played a sensational first quarter with many relentless attacks but they lacked the clinical-fashion finishing touch to score an opener. AUC, who was playing with MMC's Nurudeen Salau and Daniel Ekong after winning the Aaha title, shuddered against Dharan's attacks but held on.
Then, in the 21st minute, Machhindra's Michael Adeyemo struck for AUC. It was unfortunate for Dharan and fortunate for AUC when lanky Michael tapped the ball off Dharan FC goalie Dilip Chhetri. Skipper Obagbemiro Junior supplied a high free-kick and Michael finished it to lead the visitors against a sell-out crowd of 8,000.
The real threat from Dharan came in the 25th minute when Sanjeev Tamang squandered a beautiful chance shooting wide off the target off Sudip Limbu's cross. AUC took lemon tea 1-0 up.
After the re-start, Dharan FC were again more aggressive and pressed their front men seeking goals. But, it was again AUC who struck with a brilliant goal. MMC's Nurudeen Salau doubled the tally in the 43rd minute utilizing the blunder of a sleeping defense line and dodging the goalie. His MMC's teammate Daniel supplied him an elevated cross and he finished it off.
Finally, Dharan FC were rewarded for their attacks, when NTSC's Christian Chidibere pulled down Milan Shrestha inside the box. Referee Madhu Sudan Khanal didn't hesitate to point to the spot kick, which was easily netted by Rishi Rai.
Skipper-cum-coach Obagbemiro Junior strengthened his side replacing Michael for Henry Etuk, but Dharan FC were holding possession and attacking. When the clock tickled past 77 minutes, Dharan FC goalie Dilip Chhetri made a blunder while clearing the ball that saw AUC again taking a two goal lead. MMC's Daniel Ekong flicked the ball over the goalie leaving him completely stranded.
In the stipulated time of 40 minutes each half, the referee flashed out two yellow cards for AUC (Michael and Chidiebere Christian).
"We are glad to beat the hosts in the final and clinch the title," AUC captain Obagbemiro Junior poured his joy. "The credit goes to my players, managers and especially to Chijioke (had led the team earlier but had to go Bangladesh and Indonesia for personal work)".
Suraj Khaling was upset with aftermath saying, "We could have won the match but the goalie poured cold water over our dreams".
Man of the Final - Nurudeen Salau
MMC's Nurudeen Salau scored one and boosted his players throughout the match. He, was declared for Man of the Final and presented a beautiful trophy and 2,000 cash.
Man of the Series- Sudip Limbu
RCT's Sudip Limbu played sensational football throughout the match. He was key player to lead his team to the finals. The tournament's Organizing Committee honored him declaring him the Man of the Series with Rs 25,000 (earlier, it was declared to provide a motorbike for the best player but was cancelled).
Highest Goal Scorer- Milan Shrestha
RCT's Milan Shrestha walked away with Highest Goal Scorer prize scoring four goals in the tournament.
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