Bengaluru FC enter semis


Bengaluru FC dug deep to play out a 1-1 draw with Mohun Bagan, a result that was enough for them to set up a semifinal clash with I-League champions Aizawl FC in the Federation Cup here on Friday. 

Alwyn George’s opener in the 11th minute meant Bengaluru had a lead that would have taken them atop Group B but for Sony Norde’s equaliser which meant they finished in second place behind the Mariners. Earlier, a late goal from Shillong Lajong’s Samuel Lalmuanpuia inflicted a 3-2 loss on DSK Shivajians. The result meant that a point would take Roca’s men through to the semifinals.

Starting the game with intent given what was at stake, Bengaluru shot into the lead in the 11th minute when Alwyn, picked ahead of Udanta on the right, scored with a clinical left-foot finish, leaving Debjit Majumder no chance whatsoever. 

Bengaluru could have doubled their lead only minutes later but skipper Sunil Chhetri saw his attempt bounce off the crossbar from a corner.
Bagan got on level terms soon after the restart when Norde, picked out Kean Lewis, bet one man and fired low past Amrinder’s left to make it 1-1 in the 50th minute. Bengaluru soon suffered a minor blip when Chhetri, visibly struggling with a limp, made way for Malsawmzuala. 
Norde’s moment of individual brilliance apart, Bengaluru played like a team with a plan that wouldn’t give an inch. Doungel’s impressive work rate as striker allowed the wings more freedom. In defence, John Johnson and Juan Gonzalez were winning every aerial duel while Jhingan, Ranjan and Harmanjot Khabra were winning tackles and helping the midfield to build up play.

Lajong beat DSK

Ten-man Lajong defeated Shivajians 3-2 in an exciting encounter to register their first victory in the tournament. Strikes by Alen Deory (49th minute) and Redeem Tlang (68th minute) for Lajong cancelled Halicharan Narzary’s brace (64th, 86th minutes). But Lajong left it late as Samuel Lalmuanpuia scored in the dying embers (90th+2 minute).

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