Millennium Post

BFC script maiden AFC Cup victory

BFC script maiden AFC Cup victory
Hosts Bengaluru FC scored a late goal to beat Maziya Sports and Recreation club of Maldives 2-1 to register their maiden victory in the AFC Cup on Tuesday.

Shankar Sampingiraj (90+3) scored the winner late into extra time after skipper Sunil Chhetri gave
Bengaluru FC the lead in the 67th minute in their opening Group E match at the Kanteerava stadium.
The match was headed for a draw after Umair Chhetri (88th minute) restored parity for Maziya with
a spot kick after John Johnson committed a handball inside the box that led to the penalty.

After a goalless opening half, Bengaluru almost took the lead three minute into the second period when Rino Anto’s inch-perfect cross was met with a Robin Singh header but Maziya goalkeeper Imran made a fine diving save to deny the hosts. But Bengaluru skipper Chhetri finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute by heading home another Rino’s cross to send the crowd into raptures.

There were chances galore for both the teams in the entire 90 minutes but they failed to cash in on them. The missed chances hurt Maziya the most as Shankar fired home in the additional time to give Bengaluru their first taste of victory in the AFC Cup.

Meanwhile, Eelco Schattorie got a reality check on his debut as East Bengal coach when his side were handed a 1-4 thrashing by Johor Darul Ta’zim in their Group F opening fixture at Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on Tuesday. The hosts might not have had a good start to their Malaysian Super League campaign but they came into their act and toyed East Bengal defence at ease with Nazrin Nawi putting the team ahead in the ninth minute. Ranti Martins scored the equaliser in the 34th minute but the East Bengal joy was shortlived as Johar Darul Ta’zim snatched the lead when Safiq Rahim converted a penalty in the 37th minute.

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