Machhindra FC Advances to Birat Gold Cup Semis

Machhindra FC Advances to Birat Gold Cup Semis

BIRATNAGAR- Machhindra FC Powers Through to Birat Gold Cup Semi-finals with Impressive Victory.

The semi-final lineup of the eighth edition of the Birat Gold Cup Football Tournament, ongoing in Biratnagar, has been completed. After the completion of Tuesday’s final quarter-final match, the semi-final lineup has been finalized.

In the final quarter-final match held at Biratnagar’s Sahid Maidan on Tuesday, Machhindra FC Kathmandu defeated Kolkata’s Southern Samity FC 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals. Stephan Vinoth, the foreign player who became the hero of Machhindra’s victory, scored two goals, while Sonu Haldar of Kolkata managed to score a consolation goal.

Having secured a place in the semi-finals, Machhindra will now face Sikkim Dragon from India for a spot in the final on Thursday. Meanwhile, the domestic teams, Morang FC and the departmental team Armed Police Force (APF), have also reached the semi-finals. APF defeated defending champions Church Boys United Kathmandu 2-0 to reach the semi-finals. Morang FC, on the other hand, secured their spot in the semi-finals by defeating Bhutan’s Artistic FC 3-2.

Stephan Vinoth started the game in the final quarter-final by scoring a goal within the first 10 minutes, giving Machhindra the lead. His exceptional finish, after receiving a through pass from Manish Dangi, left Kolkata’s goalkeeper Suraj Malki helpless.

Sonu Haldar of Kolkata equalized the game in the 32nd minute with a goal, converting a pass from Satriya Baksi.

The first half ended in a 1-1 draw, but Machhindra came out aggressively in the second half. In the 55th minute of the game, Stephan Vinoth scored again, giving Machhindra a 2-1 lead. He brilliantly touched Sunny Shrestha’s pass to score an attractive goal, which eventually proved decisive in Machhindra’s victory.

Stephan was declared the Player of the Match, earning a cash prize of 11,000 rupees.

Machhindra’s coach Santosh Neupane attributed the result to the players’ aggressive play according to the plan.

Reflecting on the semi-final, he admitted to rectifying mistakes made in the previous quarter-finals, expressing plans to deploy Vimal Gharti Magar on the field. He said, “Having Vimal on the field will add more firepower upfront.”

After the loss, Kolkata’s coach Soumen Kundu mentioned that despite getting numerous chances, their finishing weakened when the final side was under pressure, resulting in defeat.

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