Battling Bengaluru FC go down to Altyn Asyr

DELIGHTED Altyn Asyr's Vahyt Orazsahedov (second from left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring. DH PHOTO/SRIKANTA SHARMA R

It was a baptism by fire for Bengaluru FC’s new manager Carles Cuadrat as he oversaw his side’s 2-3 defeat to Altyn Asyr in the first leg of the AFC Cup Inter-zone semifinal here.

Close to 5800 of the BFC faithful packed into the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday and were treated to some high-octane football but they would have been a tad disappointed with the eventual result.

Vahyt Orazsahedov (11th, 46th minutes) and Altymyrat Annadurdyyev (25th) ensured the Turkemnistan side have the edge going into the second leg despite Rahul Bheke (63rd) and Erik Paartalu (88th) reducing the deficit. There were signs of teething problems for the Indian Super League finalists as they try to settle into the new manager’s system.

But BFC would have also felt hard done by a few questionable calls from Japanese referee Iida Jumpei.

On a rare off day for custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the home side found themselves chasing the game early on as Selim Nurmyradov chipped a smart pass that Orazsahedov calmly headed in from point blank range.

The Blues did up the ante thereafter but their opponents remained stoic in defence and thwarted waves of attacks. The best chance came in the 15th minute when Miku crossed for skipper Sunil Chhetri but Altyn goalkeeper Mamed Orazmuhamedov displayed tremendous reflexes to use his left foot and keep the ball out.

Bengaluru were still ruing the missed opportunity when they received a double whammy. Annadurdyyev found himself in the box and despite a tight angle, fired in at the near post.

Both sides traded blows for the remainder of the half with the away team definitely going into the tunnel the more satisfied lot.

It was once again the men from Turkmenistan who began brighter after resumption. Orazsahedov grabbed his second and his team’s third of the night with a low left-footed effort that slipped under Gurpreet. The hosts started pressing harder and were rewarded in the 63rd minute. Chhetri’s headed effort cannoned off the bar and fell kindly for Bheke who made no mistake with the rebound.

In the 87th minute Paartalu then nodded Udanata Singh’s delightful cross home from five yards out and that was as much as Bengaluru were going to get from the tie.

Despite the late flurry, Altyn will hold the edge when the two lock horns again in Ashgabat on August 29.

 

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Battling Bengaluru FC go down to Altyn Asyr

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