Shankar's late strike hand Bengaluru maiden win in AFC Cup
Hosts Bengaluru FC scored a late goal to beat Maziya Sports and Recreation club of Maldives 2-1 and register their maiden victory in the AFC Cup here yesterday
Bengaluru: Hosts Bengaluru FC scored a late goal to beat Maziya Sports and Recreation club of Maldives 2-1 and register their maiden victory in the AFC Cup here yesterday. 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.