Before writing this, I was trying to think of someone to blame for our lack of match preview regarding this game. I came to the conclusion that the best person to blame was the person in charge of the site, which seems fair don’t you think? It does, but then I remembered that that person was me so let’s not be too hasty to point the finger at anyone, eh?
To be fair, I had to do the Mumbai preview yesterday which would’ve meant I’d have had to do the preview for this game as well and I simply wouldn’t have had time, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise that it completely passed me by. You’re probably wondering what I’m going on about, which would be fair.
Could Bengaluru Do What Chennai Couldn’t?
Bengaluru travelled to Aizawl yesterday in the AFC Cup in what was their second group game. Considering Aizawl beat Chennaiyin earlier in the week in the Super Cup, it was going to be an interesting match-up, especially considering Roca opted to rest the likes of Chhetri, Udanta and Gurpreet.
So, maybe it won’t come as a surprise that first blood went to the hosts as an element of good fortune meant they took the lead via Leonce Dedoz; in a funny sort of way, it was fortunate for both Aizawl and Bengaluru how the goal came about. Ralte in the Bengaluru goal came through and cleaned out the other Aizawl forward and the ball deflected to Dedoz who put it into the open goal. If he hadn’t, Ralte would’ve been sent off and Bengaluru would have had to play eighty-five minutes with ten men.
As the story goes, Roca’s men equalised in first-half stoppage time courtesy of a penalty from Daniel Segovia. No question marks around the award of the penalty as the handball was as blatant as they come and the spotkick was finished with some aplomb by Segovia who sent Avilash Paul the wrong way.
Segovia Scored One & Missed One
While it may have taken them until stoppage time to equalise, don’t let fool you. The stats at halftime read that Bengaluru had 67% of the ball and made 144 more passes than their I-League opponents, yet for all their possession, they only mustered one shot on target and that came from the penalty spot.
Another penalty came Bengaluru’s way just after the interval and it was the same man again to step up, Daniel Segovia. It was a different outcome this time around as his effort cannoned off the woodwork, still 1-1…
It took just under twenty second-half minutes for their to be a breakthrough and unsurprisingly it went the way of the ISL side. I want to make sure you understand how good this goal was. Rahul Bheke headed home from six-yards out which isn’t all that impressive in itself, but the cross was sublime. If it had happened in Europe, the press would be all over it like a tramp on chips, nonetheless, they don’t give a monkey’s about the AFC Cup, but I do.
Sensational Play From Alwyn – Watch It!
Alwyn George dragged the ball back with his right to fool the defender and then curled it in with his left, it was simply mesmerising. If you haven’t watched it, make sure you do.
Once Bengaluru took the lead, there was only ever going to be one winner and when Daniel scored after coming off the bench, it gave the scoreline a fairer reflection of the ongoings on the pitch. The goal itself was one that Avinash probably should’ve saved on reflection, however, the game was already done and dusted at that point. Full-time Aizawl 1-3 Bengaluru.
Bengaluru’s win sent them to joint-top of Group E as they sit level on points with Maldivian side New Radiant SC who they face for the first time on Tuesday next week. Without trying to blow my own trumpet too much, I did say that it would Bengaluru and New Radiant who finished first and second in the group. Yes, I am aware there have only been two group games so far, but I’ve gotta get the boasting in now in case it all goes Pete Tong in the coming weeks.
It was in my thought process to bring you some word from the post-match conferences, that can’t be done though as it seems they either haven’t been done or haven’t been publicised very well, so looks like you’ll just have to make do with that.
Until the next time.