Bengaluru FC qualify for AFC Cup knockouts – Times of India

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DHAKA: Benguluru FC produced a professional performance to blank Abahani Dhaka 4-0 before outside help from Aizawl FC ensured their qualification for the Inter-Zonal semifinals of the AFC Cup.

Daniel Segovia (13th min), Nishu Kumar (16th, 58th) and Sunil Chhetri (60th) struck for Bengaluru, who topped Group E with a resounding win and advanced in the competition.

Bengaluru needed a win to qualify and were also relying on Aizawl FC to beat Maldives’ New Radiant. Chhetri led from the front as he assisted in three goals.

Moments after Bengaluru’s win, Aizawl came to their rescue by defeating New Radiant 2-1.

Bengaluru finished the group on 15 points, New Radiant 12 and four points apiece for Abahani and Aizawl.

The Blues were always in control of the game and led 2-0 at half time courtesy goals from Segovia and Kumar.

Bengaluru had 55 percent ball possession with 11 of their 16 shots on target. Abahani only entered the striking area five times and had just one shot on target.

The outcome was on expected lines but with qualification on the line, Bengaluru had to deal with pressure.

Bengaluru’s previous visit to Dhaka had ended in defeat to the Bangladeshi side in the group stages of last year’s AFC Cup campaign with late goals from Saad Uddin and Rubel Miya handing Albert Roca’s men a 0-2 loss.

In a more recent meeting between the sides, Daniel Lalhlimpuia scored a 72nd minute winner at the Kanteerava Stadium in March when Blues began their continental campaign

Roca had just one change to the Bengaluru side which had beaten Aizawl 5-0 in its previous game.

The Zonal semifinals will be staged from August 21.



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