KATHMANDU, Oct 13: After spending 10 years of his football career with Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT), captain Dilip Chhetri wants to make final of the Ncell Cup Football Championship a memorable one, while his counterpart Anil Gurung, the captain of the Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), wants to win the first trophy under his captaincy.
RCT and MMC are all set to clash in the final of the Ncell Cup on Saturday at the Dasharath Stadium.
"It is the biggest match of my domestic football career. Every player on the ground wants to win the match and I wish for the same," said Chhetri during a press-meet organized by Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) on Friday.
"MMC has been going through a very good training sessions for the last three months. It is the strongest point of our team and I want to lift the trophy as a captain," Gurung said.
Coaches and captains in pre-match conference. (Photo: Bikash Karki)
However, Gurung´s participation in the final is in doubt because of the injury he has suffered. "Anil´s participation is doubtful. Otherwise we´ll have the same starting line-up that played against Nepal Police Club in the semifinal on Thursday," said MMC coach Krishna Thapa.
Likewise, RCT coach Madhu Karki also informed that he would start with the same line-up that played against Iceberg Madhyapur Youth Association in the semifinal.
RCT has not made it to the final of any tournament in Kathmandu since they won Subhajanmotsav Cup in 2057 BS, while MMC is yet to win any knockout title in Kathmandu after winning the Suvarna Samsher Cup in 2063 BS.
"Both the teams have equal chances to win the trophy but as a coach of MMC, I would claim that we are a better side," said Thapa. "Match against MMC would have emotional value for me since I used to play for the club. I played my debut match from RCT in 2031 BS," he added.
Thapa claimed that his side was more balanced with good defense, midfield and forward line. "My only concern is goalkeeper Emmanuel Dare, who is little weak at anticipation and gripping," said Thapa.
Meanwhile, RCT coach Karki termed the final against MMC as a reality check for his team. "We faced relatively easy opponents till semifinal. The final against MMC will, therefore, prove our caliber," said Karki.
Karki said that his forward line is strong and in a good form, enough to bother MMC. "We have to repeat the performance that we put up during the semifinal to win the title," said Karki.
MMC had defeated RCT 1-0 in their last encounter during the National League. However, both the coach agreed that the Saturday´s final would be a tough challenge for their teams irrespective of the past records.