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AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC through with an assist from Aizawl

IANS  |  Dhaka 

It took a bit of everything -- a good show in Dhaka, drama in Guwahati and a big push from a resolute Aizawl FC -- as finished as champions of the South Zone and booked a place in the knock-out stages of the AFC Cup for a fourth straight season.

Goals from (13th), Nishu Kumar (16th, 58th) and (60th) gave Bengaluru a 4-0 win over

But it was the game in Guwahati that would decide Bengaluru's fate where Aizawl, who needed a win or a draw against New Radiant of for the former champions to go through.

Aizawl chose the three-point route to aid Bengaluru, beating New Radiant 2-1.

The water-logged pitch from overnight showers looked like giving trouble, but two quick goals in a span of three minutes dispelled any such worries for

Bengaluru shot into the lead when Chhetri rolled the ball perfectly across the face of the goal, leaving Segovia with the simple job of scoring past Abahani 'keeper Sahidul Alam to make it 1-0.

Chhetri then squirmed past two blue Abahani shirts to tee up Nishu who slammed the ball low to the corner and beyond Alam. The two early blows were enough to prompt Abahani into submission as Bengaluru hogged possession and began camping in the hosts' final third.

Chhetri then completed a hat-trick of assists when he chipped over the Abahani defence for Nishu to fantastically control the ball on his chest before firing home from close to make it 3-0.

The finally got into the act on the hour mark when Alam spilled a cross that fell to Chhetri who scored his 24th goal of the season with a simple finish after holding off a defender.

Meanwhile in Aizawl, where everyone who had anything to do with had their eyes on, Leonce Dodoz gave the hosts a 61st minute lead that Romanian doubled in the 82nd minute.

New Radiant needed three goals to keep their hopes of making the knock-out stages alive and began the fight with an 85th minute strike. But Aizawl, with nothing to play for in Group E, clung on to the lead that sent the squad in in raptures.

A draw process that involves four zones -- Central Asia, South Asia, and Asean -- will determine Bengaluru's next opponents. While three group winners have been decided, the final of the Asean Zone is yet to take place.

--IANS

dm/ajb/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 22:22 IST
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