San Miguel Machhindra got their hands on Qatar Airways Martyr’s Memorial “A” Division League trophy on Saturday following a 1-0 victory against the title contender Tribhuwan Army Club.
Machhindra took the lead at Dashrath Stadium in 33rd minute when Bikash Tamang conceded an own goal while attempting to clear Ranjit Dhimal’s set piece. Tribhuwan Army , after conceding a goal and having replaced their first choice keeper Bikesh Kuthu due to injury, displayed slow and sloppy performance. Tribhuwan Army started the second half with a positive energy. Bharat Khawas almost got an equilizer at 68th minute with a header from inside the box but Machhindra keeper Bishal Shrestha made an important block to deny his goal. Machhindra , on the other hand, were confident enough and played a well composed game. However, they failed to produce a second goal. Machhindra defended their lead till the end and clinched their first-ever “A” Division league title. Machhindra’s midfielder Andres Nia Tchounkue bagged Kelme Man of the Match award of the final game with his marvelous performance.
With the result, San Miguel Machhindra confirmed the first position with a total of 31 points from 13 games. Trailing behind is Tribhuwan Army with 29 points from 13 games. Defending champion NOC Manang Marshyangdi made it to the third with 28 points. San Migueal Machhindra won a cash prize of 50 lakhs along with Qatar Airways’s Martyr’s Memorial “A” Division League trophy. The first runner up Tribhuwan Army Club won 35 lakhs while the second runner up NOC Manang Marshyangdi Club won 25 lakhs.
Similarly, the best forward, the best midfield, the best defense, the best goal keeper and the best coach awards were bagged by Bharat Khawas(TAC), Bishal Rai B(MC), Ananta Tamang(TSC), Deep Karki(MMC) and Prabesh Katwal(MC) respectively who won 1.5 lakhs each. NRT’s Darsan Gurung was adjudged with Lt. Mani Bikram Shah Youth Player Award, Gurung won 1 lakh. Ruslan Three Star, who finished off fourth, won fair play award.