Team Old Friends beat KC Brothers in the final to lift the Thimphu Open Football Tournament trophy on December 2.

The team beat KC Brothers 4:2 on penalty after the two teams drew 1:1 on regular time.

The teams, expecting to qualify at least to the semi finanls started practicing for the tournament for more than a week before the tournament.

Team Captain Kinga said that the tournament helped him and his friends to play after a long time.

“Most of my players lacked game plans and tactic, but it’s their fitness that brought us to the final. The toughest opponent for us was Team RSTA but fortunately, the team did not make it to the semi-final,” said Kinga.

The tournament began on September 12. Each team paid a registration fee of Nu 25,000.

More than 600 office goers, students, and veterans took part in the tournament, which also provided an opportunity for coaches.

Team Old friends won Nu 100,000 with individual trophies. The runners-up team, KC Brothers won Nu 50,000 with individual trophies.

A former national player, Ngawang Dendup was declared the highest scorer with 16 goals for Team RSTA and won a scooter worth Nu 64,700.

Other individual awards to recognise outstanding performance included prizes for the best goalkeeper, the best defender and the man of the match of the tournament.

The tournament began in 2010. Kawajangsa FC, after having disqualified from entry in the departmental tournament in 2009 as the team comprised of mixed players from various departments, started the tournament.

The team felt the need to provide a platform to those who loved to play but was left out of the tournament as they belonged to no particular department or could not participate in the elite football leagues and international games.

Organiser Tshering Nidup said that the tournament is open to all with the interest to play.

“We loved to play the game but there was no platform for us. The only chance was to create one. Only few could get an opportunity to play international games while some played in Thimphu and national league,” he said. “Therefore, we started with our open tournament.”

The tournament has become an annual event with more teams participating in the tournament each year.