In a thrilling showdown, Dhasa United emerged victorious against Dhondupling FC with 2-1 score to clinch their first-ever Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup (GCMGC) title. The match, held at the Upper TCV School ground in Dharamshala, captivated football fans with its intense gameplay and last-minute goals.
The match kicked off with both teams demonstrating exceptional determination and skill, fully aware of the importance of the occasion. As the first half progressed, it became evident that the game would be fiercely contested, with both sides vying for a breakthrough. The defensive lines of both teams remained resolute, effectively preventing their opponents from creating clear goal-scoring opportunities. Despite the intense competition, the first half ended without either team managing to score, resulting in a goalless stalemate at the end of regular time.
With the score still tied, the match proceeded into extra time. In the first half of extra time, a pivotal moment arose when Tenzin Choeying, the substitute wearing jersey number 30 for Dhasa United, capitalized on a golden opportunity. A well-delivered cross from Tsultrim Dawa, wearing jersey number 27, was met with an impeccable right-footed volley, propelling the ball into the back of the net. This electrifying goal sent shockwaves through the defense of Dhondupling FC, granting Dhasa United a crucial advantage.
Dhasa United maintained their offensive pressure and extended their lead with an impressive demonstration of teamwork during the latter part of extra time. Tenzin Tsering, wearing the number 10 jersey, showcased his aerial prowess by rising above the opposition's defense and executing a precise header from a long throw-in.
Nevertheless, Dhondupling FC displayed resilience, and in the final moments of the match, they were awarded a penalty, providing a glimmer of hope. Forward Tenzin Choedak confidently stepped up to take the penalty and successfully converted it, narrowing the margin to 2-1. Despite their late resurgence, Dhondupling FC ran out of time, and the final whistle confirmed Dhasa United as the champions of the 28th GCMGC.
Dhasa United's victory marks a significant milestone for the club, as they defeated the six-time champions, Dhondupling FC. Throughout the tournament, Dhasa United showcased their talent with a series of impressive performances. Tenzin Tsering, wearing jersey number 10, was awarded the Player of the Tournament for his exceptional contributions. Dhondupling FC, a highly decorated team in the Tibetan community, had previously clinched the GCM title six times. Their appearance in the finals for a record 12th time further showcased their prowess in the tournament.
Tenzin Lhakpa from TIPA FC as the Golden Boot winner with 9 goals in 4 matches, and Tenzin Rabgar of Dhondupling FC as the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament. TCV United, fielding the youngest team, was honored with the Fair Play award.
The GCMGC, held annually since 1981 in memory of the great mother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, is the most prestigious football tournament in the Tibetan community. The tournament featured 16 teams, and matches were played from June 1st to June 11th at the Upper TCV football ground.
The Tibetan National Sports Association (TNSA) organizes the GCMGC, and based on players' performances, selects individuals for the Tibetan National Team to compete in domestic and international tournaments. The GCMGC not only celebrates the sport but also serves as a platform to nurture talent and promote unity within the Tibetan community.
Kalsang Restaurant and Cafe sponsored the first prize money of 2,00,000 rupees for the winners, while Mila Group, Snow Region Tours & Travels, and Sarang Cafe collectively sponsored the cash prize of 1,50,000 rupees for the runner-up.
Edited and collated by Team TRC