Bengaluru FC finish AFC Cup campaign on a powerful note after brushing aside Maziya
Bengaluru FC avenged themselves on Maziya Sports & Recreation as they drubbed the Maldivian club 6-2 in their AFC Cup Group D South Zone encounter at the National Football Stadium in Male on Tuesday evening. Last year it was Maziya who had shown them the door in their play-off match-up. From the get-go, the Blues took control of the match and at the end of the first half were 3-0 up through goals from Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva and Leon Augustine. Sivasakthi Narayanan scored once and Bidyashagar Singh twice in the second half. With the win, the Blues finished third in the group with four points from three games.
- Bengaluru FC went into the break leading 3-0 through goals from Udanta, Silva and Augustine.
- Youngsters Sivasakthi and Bidyashagar, who scored a brace, were on target for the Blues in the second half.
- Hamza and Abdulla were on the scoresheet for Maziya.
The Blues made quite a few changes to their starting line-up. Sunil Chhetri and Yrondu Musavu-King were the notable absentees. Bengaluru FC look like a different team and made waves early into the game as Udanta opened the team’s account in the sixth minute of the game. Sarthak Golui was the architect of the goal as he provided an inch-perfect cross into the box from the right and Udanta met the ball with his head and sent it past opposition goalkeeper Hussain Shareef to put his side ahead.
In the 13th minute, it could easily have been 2-0 for the Blues but Augustine failed to provide the finishing touch onto a nice pass from the left from Udanta.
Six minutes later, they went 2-0 up after all, thanks to a goalkeeping howler. Shareef came several steps out to catch a ball but he misread its trajectory. The ball landed behind him and Silva ran ahead and pounced on the opportunity to put his name on the scoresheet.
In the 30th minute, Silva put the ball into the back of the net for the second time in the match, however, he was adjudged offside to the great dismay of the Bengaluru FC camp.
Be that as it may, it was not long before Bengaluru FC went 3-0 up. In the 36th minute, Silva found Augustine through a brilliant pass and the latter showed great control on the ball as he ran ahead and slotted it home from the right. The Blues went into the break leading 3-0 but if truth be told, they could have easily scored another two goals on another day.
Marco Pezzaiuoli’s men started the second half in the same vein and Augustine came close to scoring his second goal of the game in the 50th minute but he couldn’t beat substitute goalkeeper Mirzokhid Mamatkhanov.
Maziya pulled one back in the 67th minute against the run of play. Hamza Mohamed had plenty of time and space to beat Blues goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu after receiving the ball from well outside the box.
Bengaluru FC responded quickly through substitute Sivasakthi, and in the 70th minute and they restored their three-goal lead. Udanta provided the cross from the right and the youngster controlled the ball nicely before hitting it into the far corner.
Maziya again reduced the lead in the 82nd minute after Hamza found substitute Asadhulla Abdulla in the box and the latter did the rest to make it 4-2. Bengaluru FC again restored their three-goal lead, this time through another substitute Bidyashagar in the 85th minute of the game. The youngster scored from a difficult angle to announce this arrival. From fairly a similar angle in injury time, he got his second goal of the night and capped off a dominating performance from Bengaluru FC.