Dharamsala: Orissa Phuntsokling won their maiden Gyalyum Chemo Memorial Gold Cup in the tournament's 31 year history at the TCV School in Upper Dharamsala. They beat Tashi Phalkhiel Sports Club from Pokhara (Nepal) (4-2) on penalties after only 1-1 score in 120 minutes of play.
The tournament had been inaugurated by Baichung Bhutia, former Indian football captain, Mr. Penpa Tsering, speaker of the TPIE (Tibetan Parliament In Exile) and Tim Brown, a former News Zealand player on the 26th of May.
The closing ceremony saw Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of Central Tibetan Administration as its chief guest. He made a brief speech about how the game of football is good for the health of the youth as well as improving cultural ties among other communities. He expressed a need for the youth to stay away from social evils such as drugs and alcohol, instead involve themselves in sports such as football. A tournament like this will only provide greater interest.
With the completion of ceremonies, all the players were raring to go. A very attacking brand of football ensued. Orissa dominating the initial half of play, but Pokhara was able to create a counter attack which resulted in an own goal for Orissa. This shifted the game in favour of Pokhara who were beginning to look like the dominant side.
In the 37th minute, a pass by the Orissa team opened up the Pokhara defence resulting in a relatively simple goal for Tsewang Namgyal. The match had a few chances for both sides, but seemed evenly poised for the entire game and looked like it could go either way.
The scores remained the same for the rest of the match which was blighted with sporadic rainfall.
The penalty shootout was met with the sun piercing through the clouds, and with it returned much of the crowd who had chosen to shelter themselves during the downpour.
Orissa's goalkeeper Namdak was superb between the posts and was the difference between both the teams. The Orissa players were ecstatic after winning the GCM cup for the first time in their history.
The winning team was presented with the trophy and cheque of 1 Lakh rupees by the Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay. The golden boot was awarded to two players, Norbu Dorjee of Pokhara and Jangchub Gyaltsen from Orissa.
The tournament was hugely successful and had been fairly well organized by the Tibetan National Sports Association.