AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC in second spot after 5-3 win

The match was on a knife’s edge until 80 minutes with BFC having twice let Ayeyawady claw its way back. But substitute Beikhokhei smashed home his club’s fourth goal off a C.K. Vineeth’s cross to break the visitor’s heart.

BFC's Beingaichho Beikhokhei (18-Blue- left), scores a goal during AFC Cup game against Ayeyawady United FC, at at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

A wasteful Bengaluru FC (BFC) huffed and puffed its way to victory, defeating Ayeyawady United 5-3 in an AFC Cup Group ‘H’ encounter at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.

The match was on a knife’s edge until 80 minutes with BFC – admittedly playing its second-string team with no foreigner – having twice let Ayeyawady claw its way back. But substitute Beikhokhei smashed home his club’s fourth goal off a C.K. Vineeth’s cross to break the visitor’s heart. Alwyn George’s goal in the dying moments helped calmed the nerves.

With the win BFC climbed to second spot, behind leader Johor Darul Ta’zim, on six points with two more games to go.

It should have opened the scoring as early as the eighth minute, but Lalhlimpuia Daniel’s crisp short-range volley went off the bar. That was perhaps the only attempt in which luck played a role for everything else was self-inflicted.

The home side’s ploy of launching long-ball after long-ball worked to perfection but it was let down badly by its finishing. At least on three occasions forward Vineeth’s attempts to feed Seimnlen Doungel went awry. The former did score though, in the 20th minute, finishing past goalie Vanlal Hruai following a bad back pass.

Ayeyawady, for all its trouble at the back, displayed some slick passing. Only that it wasn’t penetrative. But one minute shy of the break, it equalised through Thiha Zaw’s excellently-placed strike. The build-up was good and was aided in equal measure by the failure of any BFC player to close down. Chizoba Christopher took out two defenders with a clever dink on the edge of the area and passed it to Zaw to finish.

However, quarter of an hour into the second half, BFC should have killed the game off following a double strike. R. Vishal’s neat cut-back was turned in on the second attempt by Alwyn. Then Vineeth headed on a long-ball into the path of Len, who scored with the left foot.

But it let Ayeyawady back again. Chizoba’s swipe from over 20 yards found the back of the net to make it 3-2 in the 69th minute. Nine minutes later Chizoba, after collecting the ball on the left flank and skipping past Vishal, hit what seemed like an innocuous left-footer only for goal-keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte let the ball in.

The result: Bengaluru FC 5 (Vineeth 20, Alwyn 61, 89, Len 66, Beikhokhei 80) bt Ayeyawady United 3 (Thiha Zaw 44, Chizoba 69, 78)

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