Dharamshala, June 3 – The opening match of this year’s Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup soccer tournament, the most prestigious game of the exile Tibetan community, was a disappointment for Pokhara, the first winner of the trophy since the Tibetan Sports Association took over the organising responsibilities of the tournament in 2003.
In the opening match of the tournament Delhi’s Cholsum United beat Pokhara Tashiling by 2 goals. Right from the start, Delhi began its attacking spree with a strong combination of its striker Abdullah (Tenzin Choegyal), Tenzin Tsepal and midfielder Bhuchung. The first goal came from a free kick just outside the box from where Tenzin Tsepal hit a hard shot on the right corner of the goal. A stupid mistake from the goalkeeper of Pokhara gave a brilliant opportunity for Abdullah who was fast enough to head the ball right into the net. Pokhara did come back to lessen the gap from a free kick which was blocked well by Delhi’s goalkeeper but Pokhara’s striker was fast to react to the rebounce to make the score 2-1. The game started to gain some momentum with the Pokhara bench cheering hard. But it was short-lived as Abdulah hit the ball right inside the goal from inside the box to make Pokhara’s comeback almost impossible as the game was nearing its end.
The second match between TCV united and Lhaksam (Darjeeling Gangtok) began with Lhaksam scoring the first goal which did put the home team in an embarrassing situation. But they were fast to come back and made the game levelled before half time. After the half time, the home team gave a strong blow to Lhaksam by scoring 4 more goals to end the game with 5-1 in their favour.
Today’s first match between two local teams Norbulingka and Suja united was played at a snail’s pace. A lob from the Norbulingka midfielder passed over the goalkeeper of Suja united to score the first goal. The match ended 1-0 in Norbulingka’s favour. The second match between Southern Stars and ITTA ended in the former’s favour with a score of 4-1
The most talked about and looked forward match will be played tomorrow between Snowlion (Darjeeling) and last year’s finalists Est. 22.
The tournament is knockout based and one loss will book the return tickets. So far, Pokhara, Lhaksam (Darjeeling Gangtok), Suja United and ITTA have passed through the exit.