Aizawl earn a crucial point, Bengaluru stumble to New Radiant
Written by: AFC-The Asian Football Confederation
The defeat in the Maldives mark the first setback for the Blues on the continent this season.
Aizawl started the brighter of the two sides and almost took the lead in the 16th minute of this Group E encounter, but Alfred Kemah Jaryan saw his attempt cleared off the line in the 16th minute.
Abahani took advantage of that stroke of luck and battled back well, with Sunday Chizoba hitting the frame of the goal from a free-kick in the 21st minute before firing off target from inside the area two minutes later.
The hosts did then manage to take the lead the 31st minute, Emeka Onuoha dusting himself off to convert from the penalty spot after being fouled in the area by Lalram Hmunmawia.
The visitors kept their composure and fought back after the break, however, and Andrei Ionescu earned them a point with a close-range finish in the 65th minute.
The point moved Abahani onto four in third place, while Aizawl remains bottom with just one.
New Radiant stunned Bengaluru FC 2-0 to hamper their winning streak in the group
Coming off the back of defeat in the reverse fixture a week ago, Maldivian club New Radiant started strongly at the National Stadium and were rewarded on the half-hour mark when forward Ali Fasir calmly converted after fine play from strike-partner Ali Ashfaq to open the scoring.
Going into the break the hosts continued to grow in confidence, but it was only after half-time that they doubled their advantage. On this occasion, Ashfaq took advantage of a mistake from defender Rahul Bheke to extend his side’s lead after 47 minutes.
It was to prove an unassailable advantage, with New Radiant seeing out the remainder of the game under little pressure of a comeback with Fasir squandering several further opportunities to put his side further ahead.
The result takes New Radiant back ahead of Bengaluru in Group E with nine points from their four games thus far, level with the Indian side but ahead on goal difference.
In next week’s fixtures, New Radiant host Abahani Limited Dhaka of Bangladesh, while Bengaluru will host their compatriots Aizawl FC.
Published: Wed Apr 25, 2018 06:47 PM IST