The knockout stages of the ongoing MDFA Trophy 2023 began here today at the Imkongmeren Sports Complex with Moanungsang MSC and Telongjem FC winning their respective quarterfinal matches. The 2006 and 2007 champions Moanungsang MSC played against NU Lumami in the first quarterfinal match while defending champions and strong title contenders Telongjem FC faced Brotherhood FC in the second quarterfinals.
NU Lumami, returning to the tournament after missing out on a couple of seasons, made a valiant stand but the former champions under the watch of veteran Rongsenchiba cut their campaign short. Neilei Nagi of NU Lumami scored the first goal of the match in the 15th minute but Inovi Chishi found the equalizer for Moanungsang MSC just four minutes later. Meyasenba then gave the lead for Moanungsang MSC in the 42nd minute and the first half ended 2-1 in favor of the two-time champions.
NU Lumami came back strongly in the second half with Chingjun Konyak leveling the score 2-2 in the 47th minute. Both teams went all out in the offensive and Moanungsang MSC were awarded a spot kick in the 65th minute which the nimble-footed veteran Rongsenchiba successfully converted to give his team a 3-2 lead.
Rongsenchiba, the oldest player in the tournament at 48 years of age, sealed the fate of NU Lumami as he scored his brace in the 82nd minute, ensuring a semi-final berth for Moanungsang MSC.
Moanungsang MSC will face the winner of Konyak Students’ Union Mokokchung and Super Seniors quarterfinal matchup.
Meanwhile, Telongjem FC demolished Brotherhood FC 6-0 in the second quarterfinal match. With their sights set on lifting the trophy for the third consecutive time, Telongjem FC went all guns blazing from the word go.
Robinson Khongsai gave an early lead in the 10th minute and the match from thereon was all about how many goals listless Brotherhood FC would concede. Nyithong Magh then scored the first goal of his hat-trick in the 18th minute. Robinson scored his brace in the 24th minute while Magh scored in the 21st and 45th minutes to complete the tournament’s fifth hat-trick.
After ending the first half 5-0, it looked like Brotherhood FC was on course to concede more. However, they maintained their composure and defended well to avoid further humiliation.
Nonetheless, Shuruosol Zhotso did penetrate the Brotherhood backline to score Telongjem’s sixth goal of the match in the 82nd minute.
Telongjem will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between KSR Team and Sports Society Soyim.