AFC Cup 2023-24: Mohun Bagan Super Giant pip Maziya; Odisha FC go down to Bashundhara Kings
Twin strikes from Cummings help Mohun Bagan SG see off Maziya; Odisha FC suffer narrow to Bashundhara Kings in the AFC Cup.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant continued their winning run in the AFC Cup with a 2-1 victory over Maziya S&RC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Monday.
Jason Cummings scored twice as the Mariners rounded off a tough win against the Maldives side.
The home side was in control from the first whistle, dominating the game in the middle of the park. Maziya soaked up all the pressure as Mohun Bagan Super Giant attackers dictated the tempo. Cummings put the home side ahead in the 28th minute with a wonderful strike when the Australian fired a shot from distance, and the ball clipped the post before going inside the goal.
Maziya had a goal-scoring opportunity in the 34th minute when Tomoki Wada caught the MBSG defence napping and unleashed a shot on goal, but Vishal Kaith did well to deny them the equalizer. The Mariners continued to pile on the pressure in search of another goal and were rewarded with a penalty as Armando Sadiku was brought down inside the box by Jocic.
Cummings stepped up to take the penalty and, instead of shooting, decided to play it short for Dimitri Petratos. However, the alert Maziya defence cleared it for a corner before Petratos could reach the ball. The Mariners had to face the consequences as Wada unleashed a screamer to draw themselves level just before half-time.
In the second half, it was Mohun Bagan SG's attack against Maziya's defence. The Mariners' attackers went all out for a goal, but they were denied by the opposition defence and their goalkeeper, who had a terrific game.
Just when it seemed like the away side would secure a point from this game, Cummings once again came up clutch and netted the winner in stoppage time of the second half, not only securing the three points for his side but also redeeming himself for the earlier mistake.
The win will keep the Mariners on top of the table with six points, while Maziya and Bashundhara Kings have three points each, and Odisha FC has yet to open their account.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant will next face Bashundhara Kings in their third group stage game on October 24.
Odisha FC suffer narrow defeat
In the earlier game on Monday, Odisha FC suffered a disappointing 3-2 loss to Bashundhara Kings in the second AFC Cup group stage match at the King's Arena Stadium in Dhaka.
The Juggernauts started the game with four foreigners, with Roy Krishna starting from the bench and Mourtada Fall serving his suspension after picking up a red card in the opening match against Mohun Bagan Super Giant.
Odisha FC got off to a bright start, dominating possession throughout the opening 15 minutes. Minutes later, they deservedly got their first-ever goal in the AFC Cup through Diego Mauricio, who found the back of the net after receiving a ball from Laldinliana Renthlei from the right flank.
The home side got back in the game after conceding the goal and were in dire need of an equalizer. Odisha FC captain and keeper Amrinder Singh came to the rescue on a couple of occasions, and Renthlei made one spectacular block in the 32nd minute to deny Bashundhara Kings. However, the visitors couldn't hold back for long, and Kings scored two goals in quick succession to head into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Sergio Lobera introduced Krishna and Jerry Lalrinzuala in the second half, and the Fijian got into action immediately, but his effort was blocked by the opposition keeper. Moments later, the home side extended their lead further as Doreilton netted his second goal of the night.
In the 58th minute, Krishna had a great opportunity to reduce the deficit, but his header hit the upright. Odisha FC eventually scored their second goal through Lalrinzuala as he scored from the rebound after the Kings' goalkeeper parried away the initial free-kick from Cy Goddard.
Both teams had chances to score in the next phases but were unable to capitalize on them. Odisha FC had the best opportunity to earn themselves a point in the 85th minute when Lalrinzuala delivered a teasing cross at the far post, and Krishna's header hit the woodwork.
The Juggernauts will take on Maziya S&RC in their third AFC Cup group stage game on October 24 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.