By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – Machhindra FC’s journey in the AFC Cup has concluded, as they faced a 3-1 defeat to South Asian powerhouse Mohun Bagan Super Giant during the AFC Cup Qualifiers Preliminary Stage 2 at Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday.
Defender Anwar Ali proved instrumental in Kolkata, scoring a brace. Furthermore, Jason Cummings contributed with a goal, propelling the hosts to the final round of the AFC Cup Qualifiers Preliminary Stage. The lone consolation for the visitors, Machhindra FC, came from Messouke Oloumou.
The match’s turning point arrived in the 38th minute when Anwar Ali’s header found the back of the net, giving Mohun Bagan the lead before going into halftime. Jason Cummings then extended the lead for Mohun Bagan in the 59th minute.
Machhindra FC managed to pull one back in the 78th minute through a well-executed free-kick by Messouke. However, any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Anwar Ali secured his brace in the 86th minute, sealing Machhindra FC’s departure from the tournament.
Earlier, Machhindra FC secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Bhutan’s champions, Paro FC, in the AFC Cup Qualifiers Preliminary Stage 1 at Dasarath Stadium, setting the stage for their clash against Mohun Bagan. Despite their earlier triumph, Machhindra FC struggled to maintain their momentum in the second round of the preliminary stage against the formidable Mohun Bagan.
As a result of this defeat, Machhindra FC will now make their journey back home, while Mohun Bagan Super Giant prepares for the final match of the Preliminary Stage against Bangladesh Abahani Limited, with their sights set on advancing further in the AFC Cup.