Jan 22, 2016 - Nepal won their first ever international title in 23 years when they defeated Bahrain U-23 3-0 in the finals of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Friday.
Bimal Gharti Magar , Bishal Rai and Navayug Shrestha were in the score-sheet for Nepal. The win fetched the champions a cash prize of US $ 50,000.
There were more celebrations for Nepal as Bimal Gharti Magar was adjudged the Man-of-the-match and Navayug Shrestha was awarded as the Best Player of the Tournament. Shrestha ended the game with four goals, the highest scorer of the tournament.
The All Nepal Football Association also declared a cash reward of Rs. 500,000 each to 20 players, two coaches and the team doctor.
An ill tempered match that saw Bahrain end the game with nine men and Nepal with 10, Nepal found themselves in the front foot as early as in the fifth minute through Bimal Gharti Magar who pounded on a loose ball that was parried by the keeper off Anjan Bista’s header.
Bahrain slowly gathered tempo but were unable to break the resilience of Nepali team. Keeper Bikesh Kuthu, who just conceded once in the five matches, was again a live wire under bar, pulling string of saves several times in the match. His best save of the match was when he made a full stretched save in the 54th minute.
Both teams had a man sent off in the 81st minute with the sending off of Suman Lama and Althuwani. There were more miseries for Barhrain when their skipper got marching order for a physical abuse on Biraj Maharjan in the second minute of stoppage time, it was the second yellow for the Bahrain skipper.
Bishal Rai doubled the advantage in the 88th minute, thanks to Anjan Bista for his effort that saw him sprint to the corner to win the ball and deliver it to Bishal Rai who made no mistake from close range.
Navayug Shrestha got the winner for Nepal in the first minute of the added injury time. A ball delivered by Bimal against the out positioned keeper gave Shrestha enough space to head home the winner.