Saturday, October 18, 2014

Local weekend at Governor’s Gold Cup

GANGTOK, 17 Oct: In what is shaping up to a historic development for football clubs in Sikkim, two local teams have secured a berth each in the semifinals of the 35th All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament underway here at Paljor Stadium. While some might see the absence of “big” clubs in the tournament as having paved the way for local teams to proceed so far, it needs to be reiterated here that both clubs have played exceptionally well and vanquished some spirited opponents to make it this far. With their outstanding performance, Sikkim Himalayan Sporting Club and Sikkim Boys [Sikkim Football Association White] have entered the semifinal round of the tournament.
Sikkim Himalayan Sporting Club will now take on ONGC-Mumbai in the first semifinal match scheduled for 18 October, Saturday, while the other semifinal will be played between Sikkim Boys and Manang Marsangdi Club of Nepal on 19 October.
The 35th edition of the tournament was kicked-off by the Governor Shriniwas Patil on 10 October at Paljor Stadium. Thirteen teams, including three local teams, participated in the tournament The third local team was Sikkim Youth XI made up of players selected from different schools from the recently held LD Kazi Memorial Interschool Football Tournament. Sikkim Youth XI went down to Sikkim Boys in the qualifying round of the tournament.
The other participating clubs were Kalighat MS Football Club, Kalimpong XI, Shillong United Football Club, Aryan Club [Kolkata], TATA Football Academy, Army XI, Tollygunge Agragami and Three Star Nepal.
In the first quarter final match played on 14 October, Sikkim Boys, comprising of experienced and young local footballers, outplayed the defending champions Three Star Nepal by a solitary goal. In the second quarter-final match, SHSC, a set of young footballers supported by few experienced ones, comfortably knocked out Tollygunge Agragami of Kolkata 2 goals to nil.
ONGC-Mumbai in turn outplayed a strong Shillong United FC in a tie-breaker in the third quarter-final on 16 October and in the last quarter-final match played today, crowd favorite, Manang Marsangdi Club, knocked out Army XI.

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