By Tenzin Monlam
Tashiling FC finds the back of the net in 104th minute through a free kick by Pema Lhundup
DHARAMSHALA, April 19: Tashiling Himalaya FC Darjeeling became the new champions of Gyalyum Chemo Memorial Gold Cup (GCMGC) 2017 after defeating five-time champions Dhondupling FC (DFC) Clement Town with a score line of 2-0 at the Kollegal Tibetan Settlement today.
With the final match destined to go into the penalty shootout after both the teams failed to score even as the clock went past 100 minutes of play. The deadlock was broken by a fine free kick in the early period of second half of the extra time from Himalaya FC’s star striker Pema Lhundup lobbing the ball over the keeper’s reach.
Bad weather and strong wind coupled with rain made conditions difficult not just for the players but also for the spectators. Just before the final whistle, Himalaya FC extended their lead with a goal from the tournament’s top scorer, Tenzing Dhundup, who managed to pound on the rebound after a fine save by Dhondupling FC’s keeper Namgyal Dorjee.
Pema Lhundup of Tashiling FC celebrates his goal in extra time
As expected, Tashiling FC Darjeeling dominated the match with its core team comprising of former Tibetan National team players. With 13 shots for Tashiling FC compared to four from DFC, the most successful Tibetan football club were out-played by their opponents. The score line could have been different if not for the fine saves from DFC custodian Namgyal Dorjee.
DFC too had their own chances to put the game to bed, however, were denied by the Himalayan FC’s defense and the keeper, Tenzin Samdup.
The 23rd edition of the GCMGC tournament was hosted by the Dhondhenling Tibetan settlement in Kollegal, Karnataka from April 8. The entire tournament was broadcast live in high definition quality through YouTube live streaming by TNSA and Phayul.com. In addition, a dedicated application for android was also launched to enhance the tournament’s reach.
Started in 1981, the tournament is held in the memory of the late mother of the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is also the biggest sporting event of exile Tibetan community.
Organized by the apex Tibetan sports authority, Tibetan National Sports Association (TNSA) as an annual event, it provides football enthusiasts a platform to showcase their footballing talents.