Namchi,Nov23: Army XI Red became champion of the 5th All India Chief Minister’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2009 with a remarkable victory of 6-3 against Titanium Kerala at Bhaichung Stadium here on Sunday, November 22.
Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling, chief guest on the occasion, awarded the winning team an attractive trophy, cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and the runner up team a trophy and a cash prize of Rs.50 thousand. Chief Minister also added some cash to the winning team of Army XI Red. Mahesh Rai, Captain of Army XI, was adjudged the Most Promising Player of the tournament and given a cash award and a trophy sponsored by the Seven Hills Resort, Namchi. Though the match was decided finally through tie breaker, the full time match of 90 minutes was the most entertaining football in the history of South Sikkim. The well set team of Army XI played a bit slow in the beginning and Kerala dominated the match from the beginning. They made several attacks during the first half while Army played a defensive game.
Finding a opportunity at the injury time of the first half, Abdul Hameed (7) of Kerala netted a beautiful goal at 48th minute and gave his team the lead of 1-0 in the half time. Kerala continued their domination during the second half. When Army players were trying their best to come back in the match, another goal was scored by Kerala. Cleetus (15) of Kerala converted a pass into a beautiful goal at the 80th minute making the score 2-0 in favour of Kerala.
But the players of Army XI did not lose their heart and played attacking game at the end. They fully dominated the match at the final hour. While defending one of the attacks of Army , Kerala made a fault inside their D-area for which the referee gave a penalty and Lalming Sanga (7) of Army changed the score to 2-1 at 89th minute. Before 30 seconds of the final whistle the beautiful goal from Sudhir Mishra (9) of Army proved the miracle for those witnessing the final match of the tourney. With this goal the score became 2-2 needed tie breaker which resulted in the final score 6-3 making Army XI Red winner of the prestigious tournament. At the final match, Chief Minister was accompanied by his cabinet colleagues and officials of different government departments. A cultural show was presented on the occasion by Namchi Public School and New Light Academy, Namchi.