Inter-Zone Semi-Final 2nd Leg: Altyn Asyr 2-0 JSW Bengaluru
Ashgabat: Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr clinched their place in the AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final with a 2-0 victory over JSW Bengaluru in the second leg of the semi-final on Wednesday, sealing a 5-2 aggregate win.
The home side were rarely troubled as they built on last week’s impressive 3-2 triumph over the Indian Super League champions.
Altyn Asyr created the best early opening as Altymyrat Annadurdyyev shot wide from the left side of the penalty area.
Selim Nurmuradov missed another chance when he headed past the post from close range in the 16th minute.
A fine break forward from Bengalaru ended with Sunil Chhetri going down in the box in the 38th minute. With the Indian side calling for a penalty, the referee booked the striker for diving.
Just before the half-time whistle, Nurmuradov sent in a shot from distance that bounced awkwardly in front of Gurpreet Singh Sadhu but the keeper held onto the ball at the second attempt.
If the first half had been lacking in attacking quality, a moment of brilliance saw Altyn Asyr open the scoring just five minutes into the second half. Annadurdyyev picked up the ball outside the Bengaluru area, drove past a defender and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed strike that arrowed into the top corner.
Miku came close to equalising minutes later but his shot on the turn from close range was straight into the arms of Mamed Orazmuhamedov.
The home side then went two goals up in the 58th minute. Mekan Saparov fired in a thunderbolt of a shot from 30 yards that crashed off the post and back out to Vahyt Orazsakhedov who slotted home from the rebound.
Orazsakhedov should have netted his second of the night with 13 minutes remaining but he shot over from six yards after stretching to get on the end of Annadurdyyev’s cut-back.
Bengalaru finally threatened again in the 83rd minute. Chhetri picked up Xisco Hernandez’s pass, skipped past one challenge and fired in a low shot from just inside the penalty area that Orazmuhamedov pushed onto the post.
But Altyn Asyr saw out the game comfortably and now face DPR Korea side 4.25 SC in the Inter-Zone Final, with the first leg taking place in Pyongyang on September 19.