BFC move into semifinals

Super sub Akshay strikes in 1-0 win over RWF

BFC move into semifinals

An injury-time goal from substitute Akshay Kumar helped Bengaluru FC (BFC) edge Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) 1-0 and enter the semifinal of the Puttaiah Memorial Cup for Super Division teams at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Friday.

Missing Sunil Chhetri and their foreign recruits, BFC started the contest in aggressive fashion. Keeping possession, the N S Manju-led BFC came close to scoring many times in the first half but failed to convert thanks to some good reflex saves from RWF custodian Arun K.

RWF’s first defensive lapse resulted in BFC forward Robin Singh firing in a left-footed drive in the 36th minute only to see the ball fly over the bar. Winger Siam Hanghal received a yellow for bringing down RWF’s Vijay in what turned out to be an unproductive first half.

The second half began in similar fashion, with this year’s I-league champions pushing hard to create anxious moments in the RWF dug out. A couple of blunders from their strikers and some good defensive play by their opponents kept BFC waiting.

With luck not favouring them and time running out, BFC missed an easy chance when CK Vineeth’s header in the 70th minute was stopped by a flying Arun.

In the three-minute injury time, BFC made one substitution by bringing in Akshay Kumar for midfielder Malemngamba Meetei.

With the match heading for a shootout, BFC finally made a breakthrough when a loose ball from the left corner was fired in by Vineeth and an alert Akshay tapped it in to the net as his team-mates let out a sigh of relief.

In the Prasannakumar Memorial Cup for ‘A’ Division teams, Bharath  scored a brace to guide Tilak Memorial to a 2-1 victory over LRDE and a place in the quarterfinals.

Milton had put LRDE ahead in the third minute of the game but Bharath equalised in the 11th minute and then powered his team ahead in the 24th minute. LRDE couldn’t answer those strikes.
DH News Service

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