Aizawl knock Bengaluru FC out

Football Federation Cup : Sunday brace sinks defending champions 5-3 on aggregate

Aizawl knock Bengaluru FC out

 Joel Sunday, who hurt Bengaluru FC badly just few days ago with a stoppage-time winner, turned slayer in chief yet again as Aizawl FC knocked the defending champions out of the Federation Cup in impressive fashion here on Tuesday.

Making the most of two sloppy pieces of defending rarely seen from the usually organised Blues, Sunday netted a fine brace and David Lalrinmuana scored a superb free kick to power the debutantes to a polished 3-2 (aggregate 5-3) victory at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

BFC authorities faced a race against time to get the stadium ready for the game as the high jump event from the Junior Federation Cup athletics concluded only around 8 pm, giving them just an hour’s  time. While they did a splendid job in ensuring the match kicked off sharp 9 pm, the game sadly lacked the bite at the start.

BFC, aware a simple 1-0 win at the beginning would have put them in the semifinals, took time to settle down while Aizawl were happy knocking the ball around. However as the the first half wore on, it was Aizawl who appeared hungrier of the two teams, hoping to prove a point against the I-League champions.

Looking a bit jaded after having landed from Aizawl on Sunday, the Blues were on the back foot in the 26th minute when Sunday made the most of a casual piece of defending from BFC. The Blues failed to to read a good pass from Alfred Jaryan and Sunday then waltzed past Johnson before rifling the ball in the top left corner.

CK Vineeth, one of the standout players for BFC this season, put the hosts back on track inside three minutes though in superb fashion. Collecting a cross from the left with his back to the goal, the winger turned around and smashed it past a stunned Soram Anganba.

BFC’s hopes of staging a comeback though came crashing down in the 38th minute with the Jaryan-Sunday combo producing a move from nowhere. Jaryan flicked the ball from off the edge of the box that caught the BFC defence completely unawares. In the right place at the right time, Sunday then strode in and smacked the ball home to make it 2-1.

David Lalrinmuana then curled a superb free kick home in the 50th minute that all but killed BFC’s hopes. Sunil Chhetri pulled one back from the spot for the hosts in the 74th minute but Aizawl had given themselves plenty of lifelines to coast into the semis.

Result: Aizawl FC: 3 (Joel Sunday 26th, 38th, David Lalrinmuana 50th) bt BFC: 2 (CK Vineeth 29th, Sunil Chhetri 74th).

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