By Phurbu Thinley
TNFA and Manipur XI pose for group photo with Chief Guest Shri N.D. Chingapa, Chief Secretary, Sikkim Government (Photo- TNFA)
Dharamsala, October 30: Tibetan National Football Association (TNFA) overcame IWDFA Manipur 1-0 yesterday to reach the pre-quarter finals of the 29th All India (Sikkim) Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament at the picturesque Paljor Stadium, Gangtok.
Tsering Dhondup scored the winning goal for TNFA in the 74th minute. Despite strong spirited performance from both the teams, the match ended with the lone goal from the Tibetan side.
“We had a very challenging match yesterday and our team won the game” elated Mr kelsang, the Tibetan team manager, told Phayul when contacted on phone.
TNFA now meet Bhutan XI on October 31.
Chief Guest of the tournament greets Tibetan footballers (Photo- TNFA)
“Whichever team wins tomorrow will move to the quarter final. The winning team will face Three Star club of Nepal,” Mr Kelsang explains.
When asked about Tibetan team’s chances of winning in Wednesday’s match, Mr kelsang noted: “We have not seen Bhutanese side’s game yet. So, I will put our chances of winning at fifty-fifty”.
“Our players' level of confidence, stamina and skills has improved very much now as compared to past. So I am hoping for the best,” Mr Kelsang said of the team’s performance in the whole tournament.
Tsering Dhondup scored TNFA’s winning goal in the 74th minute (Photo- TNFA)
The Gold cup, which started from the October 24, is a celebrated festival in Sikkim. All the matches are being played at the Paljor Staduim in Gangtok.
Of the total 16 clubs participating in this year’s tournament, six are foreign clubs.
Tibetan F.A, Nigerian Eagles, NRT F.C of Nepal, Three Star of Nepal, Chittagong Abahoni of Bangladesh, Badda Jagoroni Samsad of Bangladesh, Bhutan XI, Punjab Police, Mumbai United, Assam state electricity Board, Gorkha Hill Council of Darjeeling, Sikkim Police, Manipur XI, JCT -' A' , Sikkim FA XI are the participating clubs.
Launched in the year 1979, they say the tournament has the distinction of running without any interruptions for the last twenty seven years. No other tournament can boast of such a record, not even the Federation Cup and the Santosh Trophy, two of India's premier tourneys.
The tournament is organized by the Sikkim Football Association (SFA) the apex body of all the football organizations in Sikkim with the support from the state government and some business organizations with no official sponsor as such.
Chief Guest Shri N.D. Chingapa greets a Tibetan player (Photo- TNFA)
The tournament also gives the local a chance to see the best clubs of India in action along with the national teams of Bhutan and Nepal. A club team from Bangladesh is also invited.
This is one tournament the people of Sikkim, specially the football fans cannot afford to miss for anything. The die-hards wait throughout the year for the gold cup to start.
Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia had impressed during the gold cup from where he was picked up by East Bengal and became a national star.Results: Paljor Stadium, Gantok, Sikkim
Winners Prize - 3 Lakh (INR)::: Runners Up - 2 Lakhs (INR)
27.10.2007: Sikkim F.A.XI 1 - 3 JCT Acacemy
Scorers: SFA:(Dewa Lapcha 71') ::: JCT: Jagpreet Singh 7', 12', L.Zira 51'
28.10.2007: Assam SEB 0 - 1 Punjab Police
Scorers: PP: Gurpreet Singh 10'
28.10.2007: Sikkim Police 4 - 1 Gorkha Hill Council ,Darjeeling
Scorers: SP: Lamichaney 4',80',Sisir Kartok 67',Bhupen Lama 89' ::: DG: Lapka Lapcha 38' 29.10.2007: Tibetan F.A 1 - 0 Manipur XI
Scorers: TFA: Tshering Dhonup 74'
30.10.2007: Nigerian Eagles VS Sikkim Police
30.10.2007: Abahoni Chittagang VS Punjab Police 31.10.2007: Bhutan XI VS Tibetan F.A
01.11.2007: JCT Academy VS NRT F.C of Nepal FINAL: 7th Nov 2007