AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC through to knockouts with an assist from Aizawl

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 17, 2018

Bengaluru FC registered an impressive 4-0 win over Abhani Dhaka which propelled them to the top of the Group E standings, and a loss inflicted on New Radiant SC ensured that the Indian Super League giants qualified with a top-position finish as part of the AFC Cup 2018.

The team lost 2-1 in the group stage on Wednesday.

Bengaluru needed a win to qualify and were also relying on Aizawl FC to beat Maldives' New Radiant. The opener came in the 13th minute when Chhetri rolled the ball perfectly across the face of the goal for Daniel Segovia to tap in.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri, who added the final nail in the coffin with the fourth goal of the match was thrilled at the result, said, "We have been a team who works very hard together, right from the beginning of the first season".

Chhetri then squirmed past two blue Abahani shirts to tee up Nishu who slammed the ball low to the corner and beyond Alam. The two early blows were enough to prompt Abahani into submission as Bengaluru hogged possession and began camping in the hosts' final third.

Chhetri then completed a hat-trick of assists when he chipped over the Abahani defence for Nishu to fantastically control the ball on his chest before firing home from close to make it 3-0. New Radiant manager Oscar Bruzon's second substitution of Riham Abdul Ghanee with Ibrahim Atheeg Hassan in the 83rd minute proved fruitful as the latter reduced the margin with a lob over onrushing Aizawl goalkeeper Avilash Paul. But Aizawl, with nothing to play for in Group E, clung on to the lead that sent the squad in Dhaka in raptures.

A drawing process that involves four zones - Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and ASEAN - will determine Bengaluru's next opponents.

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