Bengaluru FC crashed out of the 2020 AFC Cup qualifiers in playoff round after a penalty shootout defeat to Maldives’ Maziya S&RC at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Wednesday.
Bengaluru FC came into the second leg with a 2-1 deficit after the defeat in Male but managed to send the tie into extra-time after recording a 3-2 win at the end of regulation time. Both teams scored a goal apiece in extra time to take the tie to penalties where the visitors prevailed 4-3 in sudden death.
Deshorn Brown broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 58th minute after a goalless first-half before Ibrahim Waheed helped Maziya draw level on the night and take the lead on aggregate in the 74th minute.
Captain Sunil Chhetri then put the home side in front five minutes later to force extra time in Bengaluru.
The visitors then stunned the Blues again when Cornelius Ezekiel scored to make it 2-2 in the 102nd minute. However, with Bengaluru staring at elimination on aggregate, captain Chhetri came to the rescue once again to make it 3-2 in the home side’s favour in the dying seconds of extra stoppage time and force a penalty shootout.
Bengaluru made a good start to shootout when Erik Partaalu and Kean Lewis scored their spot-kicks to give them a 2-1 lead after Maziya’s Sharif skied his effort.
However, Rahul Bheke saw his effort saved by Maziya goalkeeper Azizi before Gurpreet preserved Bengaluru’s lead with a fine save.
Bengaluru’s hero on the night, Chhetri, then showed nerves of steel by sending a panenka past Azizi to make it 3-1 and take Bengaluru on the brink, but Aisam converted from the spot to keep Maziya alive.
Brown then stepped for Bengaluru but ended up firing the ball over the bar leaving the door open for the Maldivian side to level the scores. Maziya obliged to make it 3-3 and take the game to sudden death.
With the pressure back on Bengaluru, Parag Shrivas missed his kick allowing Hussain to slot his penalty past Gurpreet and send Maziya into delirium and into the group stages of the 2020 AFC Cup as Bengaluru FC fell at the last hurdle in the qualifying stage.
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