The 2023-24 AFC Cup campaign of Mohun Bagan Super Giant commenced with a 3-1 victory over Nepal-based club Machhindra FC in Preliminary Round 2. The Mariners’ recent acquisitions, Anwar Ali, and Jason Cummings, marked their presence with their inaugural goals for the team. Anwar Ali, the young Indian centre-back, secured two goals with towering headers from set pieces, while the seasoned Australian striker, Jason Cummings, skilfully evaded the goalkeeper to deliver a composed finish.
Throughout the entirety of the first half, Mohun Bagan Super Giant dictated the game, amassing 13 attempts, while their counterparts had none. Bishal Shrestha, captain, and goalkeeper of Machhindra FC, exhibited a string of remarkable saves before eventually conceding to a Hugo Boumous corner, met with a powerful header by the leaping Anwar Ali in the 40th minute.
Sahal Abdul Samad, another prominent signing for the Mariners, showcased his vivacity in his inaugural start for the club. He would have found the net twice in the first half if not for the exceptional efforts of the Machhindra FC goalkeeper.