KATHMANDU, April 14: Defending champion Mega Three Star Club marked the beginning of the new season in style with a 4-0 thumping of newly promoted Sankata Kathmandu Mall Club on Saturday in the curtain raiser to the British Gorkha Cup, at Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.
Buddha Chemjong netted twice for the two-time champion in either half after Nepali international Santosh Sahukhala gave an early lead. Yogesh Gurung was also on target for Three Star.
Sahukhala, one among four new signings for Threee Star included in the lineup, put the team in charge as early as in the fifth minute. Sahukhala put on a magnificent show, beating three Sankata players and unleashing a powerful strike from the edge to send the ball past a diving Sankata goalie, Dipesh Yadav. Sahukhala was supplied with a short pass by skipper Vishan Gauchan.
Chemjong doubled the tally in the 17th minute, beating goalie Yadav in one-on-one position inside the D area in an acute pass from skipper Gauchan.
Gurung made it 3-0 in the 65th, with a cool finishing from the edge. Gurung quickly made a well placed shot, sending the ball beneath the shoulder of the diving goalie.
Chemjong, declared the most valuable player, sealed the victory from the D area in the 76th minute, beating an offside trap in a short pass by Bikram Lama.
Among the four new signings -- Sahukhala, Raghu Prajapati, Arjun Shrestha and Raju Ale Magar were in the players´ list --- only Sahukhala was listed in the starting line up while Prajapati and Raju Ale Magar appeared in the second half as substitutes.
Meanwhile, Sankata was studded in the starting line up with only a couple of players having A division match experience, including skipper Salyan Khadgi and Kabbu Rai. Rupesh Chhetri was another player with A division match experience but he was restricted to the bench due to ankle injury.
Sankata coach Juju Kaji Dangol put his side´s huge margin defeat to short preparation time for the tournament. "We played our last match of the B Division National League on Tuesday. How could we make sound preparations for such a tournament in just four days?" said Dangol, who was appointed team coach following a month-long suspension of regular coach Shyam Malai.
Dangol also lauded his side´s performance in the match. "Though the team conceded goals its performance was satisfactory," he said.
Three Star dominated the show from start to finish and created more than half a dozen impressive chances. Sahukhala squandered more than a couple of scoring chances. In the 74th minute, Sahukhala hit wide from close range against an unattended post.
Sankata also made a few attacks on the post but most of the attacks ended with Three Star goalie Kiran Chemjong´s pass. Chemjong denied Sankata skipper Khadgi, Kabbu Rai and Wangel Ghalan.
Three Star coach Meghraj KC said that his side hadn´t taken the opponent lightly and also lauded their performance. "As it was the first match of a new season we had no idea about Sankata, we haven´t taken them lightly," KC said adding, "The opponents played well but most of them didn´t have A division match experience."