Bengaluru FC Media
Aizawl FC defeated Hero I-League Champions Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the first match of their maiden Hero Federation Cup campaign at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizwal, Mizoram today (April 30, 2016)
Joel Sunday’s 90th minute goal proved to be the difference between the two sides after Alfred Kemah had cancelled out Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s 15th minute goal, in the 38th minute as both Team went into the tunnel on level pegging at half-time.
With Aizwal FC notching up a win, the onus lies on Bengaluru FC to perform in the second leg of the fixture which is slated to kick-off on May 03, 2016.
Speaking at the Official Post Match Press Conference, Bengaluru FC’s Head Coach Ashley Westwood asserted that his side can foster a comeback in the reverse fixture, "We had several chances, and could have led by 4 goals. There is a cent percent chance that we will have a comeback and get through this round."
Meanwhile, Aizawl FC’s Head Coach Jahar Das was all smiles after upsetting the ‘Champions of India’. "We deserved this win as we played a good game. We are looking forward to the second leg and will play to the best of our abilities”
In the opening minutes of the match, it was Bengaluru FC, who nearly took the lead with some fluent attacking Football. Sunil Chhetri’s threatening corner resulted in a coming together of bodies in the Aizwal FC penalty box, but the Aizwal defence stood strong and made a goal line clearance to deny Bengaluru FC an early lead.
In the 10th minute, Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s brilliant free-kick was met with John Johnson’s thumping header and earned an acrobatic save by Poirei. The resulting corner saw the Bengaluru FC duo team up again and Lyngdoh’s delivery made contact with Johnson’s right boot, rattling the Aizwal FC woodwork.
Aizawl had their first proper shot minutes later when Yuta shot from 30 yards away, but the ball went over the bar.
In the 15th minute of the match, Eugeneson Lyngdoh's shot from distance ended up in the back of the Aizawl FC net, leaving the Aizawl FC custodian wrong-footed, as Bengaluru FC took a solitary goal lead.
Minutes later, Lalchhawnkima found a chance to score an equalizer for his team through a set piece but the away keeper Amrinder blocked the ball with great ease.
Joel Sunday, assisted by Yuta, too made an attacking shot but the shot went over and did not challenge Amrinder. Moments later, Brandon’s curling shot went shy of the goal after he dribbled his way into the box.
Joel Sunday showed off some exquisite skills with the ball when he made his way towards the away box tricking past three Bengaluru defenders, but he failed to make an excellent finish as his shot went wide.
The attacking moves made by Aizawl FC eventually bore fruit when Alfred's shot found its mark in the 38th minute changing the scoreline to 1-1. Alfred's left foot shot assisted by Lalchhawnkima made its way into the net at the bottom corner rendering Amrinder helpless.
Aizawl FC continued to attack and missed more chances just minutes before the first half ended with a 1-1 scoreline.
Aizawl FC continued their momentum in the second half and the Reds fostered a goal scoring opportunity in the 48th minute when Brandon’s cross found Albert clear of the defensive mix inside the box. The latter failed to make the most out of it as another chance went abegging.
In the 57th minute, Udanta Singh’s rocket-of-a-shot from distance, was met with a strong fist by Poirei as Bengaluru FC continued their search for another goal.
Nine minutes later, Aizwal FC were awarded with a golden opportunity to take the lead but Alfred failed to tap the ball in, after successfully beating Amrinder Singh in a one versus one situation.
Substitute Daniel Lalhlimpuia showed his prowess on the pitch when he drove the ball into the box and prepared himself for a shot but was tackled by Emma denying him his chance.
Not to be deterred, Aizwal FC continued their search for the winning goal and in the 90th minute, Joel Sunday lit up the fa ces of fans in the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium as he blasted his opportunity home to make the scoreline read 2-1 in Aizwal’s favour.
The home Team held onto their solitary goal lead despite the away Team initiating raids in the remaining time and at the end of ninety minutes, the scoreline read 2-1 in Aizwal FC’s favour.