Kathmandu: Nepal defeated Bangladesh to win the Three Nations Cup football tournament held in the capital. In the final match of the tournament held at local Dasarath Raghashala Monday evening, Nepal got the better of the visitors by 2-1 to clinch the cup.
Both the goals came in the first half of the match, with Sanjog Rai opening the scoring in the 18th minute followed by Bishal Rai who doubled the score in the 42nd minute of the match.
Bangladesh got back into the game with a goal in the second half, Mahabur Rahman scoring in the 83rd minute of the match. However, Nepal held on to its lead for a memorable win before the home crowd. A tournament win after 37 years to remember on a hazy day before floodlights in the recently renovated Dasarath stadium in Tripureswar, Kathmandu.
Kyrgyzstan was the third team in the tournament. The country had fielded its U-23 team but failed to beat both Nepal and Bangladesh. Nepal made it to the finals with a score-less draw against both Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan in the league. Bangladesh defeated Kyrgyzstan to top the points table and qualify to the final.
It was a sweet revenge for the Nepali national team that had lost to the same team in Dhaka, Bangladesh during a friendly match recently. Nepal had lost 2-0 in the first match and drew 0-0 in the second match in the two-match friendly series.
The Three Nations Cup tournament was organized by All Nepal Football Association, as preparation for the World Cup qualifying games.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli gave away prizes and certificates to the winner and runner-up team. Along with the winner's cup, Nepal bagged a cash prize of 5,000 US dollars while Bangladesh won 3,000 USD.
Prime Minister Oli also witnessed the match after initiating the match by handing over the match ball to the match referee. Also present to witness the match were Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, UML leader Subash Chandra Nembang, Minister for Youth and Sports Dawa Lama Tamang, National Sports Council member-secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal among others.