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8 teams advance into knockout stage of GCM Gold Cup

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By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, May 24: The Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup football tournament has concluded its group-stage matches after nine days of football. Out of the 16 participating teams, eight have secured their spots in the quarterfinals, while eight others, including several former champions, have been eliminated.

The biggest shock of the tournament so far is the early exit of Dhondupling FC, the team with the most GCMGC titles. Despite their illustrious history, Dhondupling FC finished third in Pool D, missing the quarterfinals. Advancing to the quarterfinals from Pool D are Dhondenling FC from Kollegal which dominated the group and DYSA Mundgod. TCA Australia, unable to secure a single victory, was also eliminated after losing all three matches.

In Pool A, Dunkmandu Nepal topped the group with seven points, winning two matches and drawing one. Goa FC followed closely with five points, advancing after one win and two draws. The host team Rabgyaling FC, along with Phuntsokling FC Orissa, were eliminated from the competition.

TDL Bylakuppe emerged as the standout team in Pool B, securing a perfect nine points by winning all three matches, the only team in the tournament to achieve this. They were joined in the quarterfinals by Gulladhala FC Bylakuppe, who accumulated six points from two wins.  Sonamling FC and TCV team struggled throughout the group stage, both finishing with only one point, resulting in their elimination.

Pool C featured three teams from North India, with the defending champions, Dhasa United from Dharamshala, advancing with seven points. Poanta Cholsum FC also moved forward with five points. Shimla FC and Chompheling Miao FC were both eliminated from the group.

The quarter finals will kick off from May 25, transitioning to a knockout format. The first quarterfinal will feature Dunkmandu Nepal against Poanta Cholsum, and the second will see Goa FC take on Dhasa United. On May 26, TDL Bylakuppe will face DYSA Mundgod in a much-anticipated South Derby, while Dhondenling FC Kollegal will compete against Gulladhala FC Bylakuppe.

This year’s tournament in South India’s Hunsur Tibetan settlement has been impacted by heavy rains, which have disrupted several matches. Despite challenges, fan attendance has remained robust, with supporters braving the weather to cheer for their teams. As the tournament moves into the knockout phase with only seven matches left until one team is crowned champion, excitement and anticipation continue to build.

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