Kolkata: A heavily-rested and young Bengaluru FC squad went down 3-1 to Mohun Bagan in their AFC Cup Group E fixture at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, in Kolkata, on Wednesday. With only one team progressing to the knock-out stages, the Blues will need nothing but a win against Maziya S&RC when the two sides meet on May 31st after the Maldivian side beat Abahani Dhaka 2-0 in the group’s other fixture on the day.
Group E had new leaders after Maziya’s win over Abahani took them to 12 points, while the Blues dropped to second (9 points). But while a win at the Kanteerava on the 31st will leave both teams tied on points, Bengaluru FC’s superior head to head record against Maziya, will mean passage for Albert Roca’s men to the next round. Earlier in April, the Blues traveled to Maldives and came away with a 1-0 win.
With an eye on Sunday’s Federation Cup final against Bagan, Bengaluru made the trip to Kolkata without Amrinder Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Juanan Gonzalez, Lenny Rodrigues, Cameron Watson and Udanta Singh. Defenders John Johnson and Harmanjot Khabra missed the fixture owing to suspensions as Keegan Pereira captained a side that had an average age of just twenty three.
The Blues fell behind in the 10th minute when Raynier Fernandes’ chip over the defence met Jeje Lalpekhlua’s run and the striker calmly slotted past Lalthuammawia Ralte.
Doungel levelled seven minutes into the second half. Collecting the ball ten yards outside the box, Doungel sent in a rasping drive to make it 1-1. Vineeth then missed a presentable chance before BFC went behind for a second time when Kean Lewis’ shot took a heavy deflection off Gursimrat Singh’s heel and looped over the keeper and into the goal. The hosts then had a strike from outside the box of their own when Bikramjit Singh Sr. connected cleanly to make it 3-1 to the hosts....