KATHMANDU, April 28: Defending champion Mega Three Star Club will take on National League champion Nepal Police Club (NPC) in the final of the British Gorkha Cup, the opening tournament of the new domestic season, on Saturday.
Mega Three Star Club, which enrolled star players like Santosh Sahukhala and Sandeep Rai and retained players like Biraj Maharjan and Kiran Chemjong, had won the previous two editions of the British Gorkha Cup.
On the other hand, it is maiden entry into the final of the tournament for the Nepal Police, which includes players like Jumanu Rai, Bhola Silwal, Ritesh Thapa and Parbat Pandey.
NPC striker Rai and defender Suraj BK are injured and it is uncertain whether they´ll play the Saturday´s final. However, technically and tactically strong coach Birat Krishna Shrestha is impressive in utilizing available resources and producing results in NPC´s favor.
Three Star coach Megharaj KC, who was an assistant coach of the Nepali national team in the last season, has also been proving himself as one of the talented coaches in the country, guiding his club to title victories in Budhasubba Gold Cup and British Gorkha Cup last season.
Mega Three Star defeated Himalayan Sherpa Club 1-0 in the semifinal on Wednesday while Nepal Police pulled a 1-0 victory over Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), the runner-up of the last two editions, in the semifinal on Thursday.
In the first edition of the British Gorkha Cup, Three Star had defeated Nepal Police in quarterfinal while Police had lost to MMC in the semifinal of the last edition.
While Three Star recently won the title of Budhasubba Gold Cup in Dharan, league champion NPC has not been doing that well in recent knockout tournaments.
NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha refused to predict the results of the final match. "Currently, Three Star is the most balanced team among the A division clubs. They have very good bench strength," said Shrestha after winning the semifinal match. "However, we have 2-3 match winners in our team," he added.
"To win a match single goal could be enough and let´s not predict results now," said Shrestha.
Three Star Coach Megharaj KC also refused to predict the result. "Police is one of the best teams in the country. It is going to be a fifty-fifty affair and whichever team grabs opportunities will win the title," said KC.
"Though NPC is playing the final of British Gorkha Cup for the first time, they are not new opponents to us," said KC. "We´ll put our hundred percent in the final and we´ll try to play good football. I think, if we would succeed in doing these two things, we´d be able to defend the title," he added.
Three Star will miss its midfielder Bijay Dhimal in the final while NPC will miss defender Robin Shrestha as both are suspended after being booked twice during the tournament.
The final match will be played at the Dasharath Stadium on Saturday evening under floodlights.
The winner of the final would get Rs 1 million while runner-up would receive half the amount.