AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC fail to qualify for final after being held to 2-2 draw by FC Istiklol in second leg

Bengaluru FC's bid to reach the AFC Cup final for the second consecutive year ended in heart- break as they were held to a 2-2 draw by FC Istiklol of Tajikistan in the second leg of the Inter-Zone final in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

PTI October 18, 2017 22:07:27 IST
AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC fail to qualify for final after being held to 2-2 draw by FC Istiklol in second leg

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC's bid to reach the AFC Cup final for the second consecutive year ended in heart- break as they were held to a 2-2 draw by FC Istiklol of Tajikistan in the second leg of the Inter-Zone final in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Needing to overturn a 0-1 first leg defeat in their away match on 27 September, Bengaluru conceded a goal as early as the fourth minute when the Tajikistan side scored through a penalty converted by Nuriddin Davronov.

Bengaluru equalised in the 24th minute through Rahul Bheke but they were reduced to 10 men as Harmanjot Khabra was shown a red card in the 42nd minute to virtually seal the fate of Albert Roca's side.

AFC Cup Bengaluru FC fail to qualify for final after being held to 22 draw by FC Istiklol in second leg

Bengaluru FC failed to reach the AFC Cup final after being held 2-2 at home by FC Istiklol. AFC Cup's Facebook page.

Last edition runners-up side Bengaluru played the whole of the second half with 10 men and FC Istiklol, the 2015 losing finalists, capitalised on the advantage to take the lead in the 56th minute through a goal by Dmitri Barkov.

Sunil Chhetri restored parity in the 65th minute but that was not enough for his side to advance further as Istiklol enter the final on 3-2 aggregate.

In the summit clash on 4 November, Istiklol face defending champions Air Force Club of Iraq to whom Bengaluru had lost in last year's final.

Bengaluru dominated the match with more possession but it was a horror start for them as goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu fouled an opposition defender inside the box and the referee pointed to the dreaded spot and Davronov stepped up and converted it.

Bheke brought cheers to the home side supporters who were egging them on after being down with one goal as he headed the equaliser from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner off a cross following a corner.

Bengaluru had plenty of chances, but they failed to covert them, amidst mounting pressure on the home side to win the match with a margin two goals as they had conceded a goal.

Their best chance came in 31st minute but Chhetri's shot hit the crossbar as Istiklol survived.

In the 83rd minute, Udanta Singh won a free kick on the left wing but was headed away for a corner.

Chettri also missed a chance in the 87th minute from outside the box as his shot sailed high.

Adding more salt to Bengaluru's wounds was the sending off of Khabra as he was red carded for committing a foul. For rest of the match, Bengaluru played with ten players on field, which probably made a tad difficult for them to score goals.

Updated Date:

also read

Premier League: Injured Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott calls Leeds defender Pascal Struijk's ban 'wrong'
Sports

Premier League: Injured Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott calls Leeds defender Pascal Struijk's ban 'wrong'

Leeds said Wednesday the club have failed with their appeal against Struijk’s sending-off, which happened in the second half of Liverpool’s 3-0 win in the Premier League at Elland Road. Elliott required a lengthy period of treatment before being carried off on a stretcher, and underwent surgery on Tuesday.

Ligue 1: Lorient beat defending champions Lille, end their 10-month unbeaten away run
Sports

Ligue 1: Lorient beat defending champions Lille, end their 10-month unbeaten away run

The loss left Lille in 10th place ahead of hosting German Bundesliga highflyers Wolfsburg in their Champions League opener next week.

Veteran Brazil defender Dani Alves and Sao Paulo split over unpaid wages
Sports

Veteran Brazil defender Dani Alves and Sao Paulo split over unpaid wages

The former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain player's advisers told the club his training boycott would continue until his outstanding salary was paid, Belmonte revealed.