Punjab Police Club defeated Machhindra Football Club 2-0 and advanced to the semi-finals of the sixth Birat Gold Cup here at the Martyrs Stadium today.

Rajvir Singh and Mahavir Singh scored on either half for the Indian team, who will face the winners of the match between African Roots Association and Sankata Boys Sporting Club for a place in the final.

Rajvir opened the scoring for Punjab in the 39th minute when he slotted home following a cross from Jagdip Singh. Mahavir doubled the tally in the 83rd minute. Fed by Sarabjint Singh, Mahavir put the ball into the goal in his first touch.

The Martyrs Memorial A Division League champions, Machhindra dominated the first half but failed to find the back of the nets. Their best chance came in the 20th minute but Umesh Rai failed to beat Punjab goalkeeper Satbir Singh in one-on-one situation. The Indian team also muffed up a couple of chances in the first half.

The Indian team took control over the match in the second half and they also created a couple of scoring opportunities apart from the goal. Machhindra came close to scoring the equaliser in the 54th minute but Nishant Limbu shot wide from the box. At the other end, Rajbir Singh ended up with a wide shot four minutes later. Jagdip Singh of Punjan was named the man of the match.

Punjab coach Harnek Singh lauded his team's efforts for the win. "We are happy to beat the league champions of Nepal and the boys deserve full credit for the victory," he said. "We have a couple of injury problems and we are hoping them to be fully fit for the semi-final match," he added.

Machhindra coach Prabesh Katuwal said he was satisfied with the overall performance of his team despite the loss. "We badly missed the services of a couple of key players who could not travel with the team due to their commitment in the Nepal Super League," he said. "Given the strength of the team, I can take the team performance as satisfactory," added Katuwal.

On Monday, Nepal Police Club will take on Nepal APF Club in the departmental derby.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 12 2021, of The Himalayan Times.