AFC Cup: All you need to know about Mohun Bagan SG’s opponents Machhindra FC
Machhindra FC have been one of the most successful teams in Nepal over the past few years, winning back-to-back titles in the Nepal first division league from 2019-21.
Indian Super League (ISL) side Mohun Bagan Super Giant will be up against Nepal's Machhindra FC in the AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round two clash on Wednesday. Machhindra FC have been one of the most successful teams in Nepal over the past few years, winning back-to-back titles in the Nepal first division league from 2019-21.
The Kathmandu side finished second in the 2023 Marty’s Memorial A-Division League, the top division of Nepal, but qualified for the AFC Cup as winners Church Boys United FC did not have an AFC License. They recently defeated Paro FC of Bhutan 3-2 in their preliminary round match, setting up a clash with Mohun Bagan SG in the second round.
With the two sides set to battle it out in Kolkata, here’s a closer look at the Mohun Bagan SG’s upcoming opponents.
The Kathmandu-based club was established in 1973 and has made great strides in the past few years. They won promotion to Nepal’s first division in 2004, but struggled to win silverware over the years that followed.
After a 13th-place finish during the 2018-19 season of the Marty’s Memorial A-Division League, the club finished as champions the following season. The club managed to retain the title during the 2021-22 season and also featured in the AFC Cup 2022 play-off qualifying match for the first time, but lost to Sri Lankan side Blue Star SC.
Head to Head
The two sides are set to face each other for the first time.
Last 5 Matches - WLWWW
Machhindra FC have been in fine form off late. During the 2023 Marty’s Memorial A-Division League, the side produced some important results during the business end of the league.
They suffered just one defeat in their last 10 league games, which came against Nepal Police FC, finishing second in the league stage. Machhindra FC were one of the most entertaining teams, netting a league-high tally of 41 goals.
In their AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round fixture against Bhutan’s Paro FC, the side came from behind and registered a nail-biting 3-2 win, advancing to the second round.
Capable of playing as a striker or winger, Nigerian forward Oladipo is Machhindra FC’s primary threat in attack. He finished as the top scorer in 2023 Marty’s Memorial A-Division League, with 23 goals to his name.
The 28-year-old forward, boasting a huge physical presence, was also on the scoresheet in Machhindra FC’s thrilling over Paro FC. Mohun Bagan SG will have to nullify the forward’s threat in order to keep Machhindra FC quiet.
Captain of the side, Shreshta has established himself as one of Machhindra FC’s key players over the past few years. He kept a total of nine clean sheets during the 2023 Marty’s Memorial A-Division League, the second-best tally in the league and the most by any Nepalese keeper.
Shreshta has also been a part of the Nepal national team since his debut in 2021 and will be expected to produce some saves against Mohun Bagan SG.
One of the brightest attacking talents in Nepal, Magar will be up against his former side. The versatile, who began his professional career in Nepal, was part of the Mariners during the 2017-18 season.
Magar has been part of Machhindra FC since 2020 and has won two Marty’s Memorial A-Division League titles with the side. He was among the goalscorers in Machhindra FC’s win against Paro FC, and the Nepal international will have a point to prove against his former team.
Fixture: Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs Machhindra FC
Date: August 16
Venue: Vivekananda Bharati Yuba Krirangan, Kolkata
Telecast: Mohun Bagan Super Giant Facebook Page