Matchday Five - Group E: JSW Bengaluru FC 5-0 Aizawl FC
Bengaluru: JSW Bengaluru FC of India kept alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the 2018 AFC Cup with a comfortable 5-0 win over fellow Indian side Aizawl FC in their Group E encounter on Wednesday.
With rivals New Radiant defeating Abahani Limited Dhaka earlier in the day to open up a three-point lead at the top of the group, Bengaluru knew they needed a win to stay in the competition.
Bottom-placed Aizawl began the match brightly but Bengaluru soon wrestled control of the match with two quick-fire goals after the first quarter of an hour. Captain Sunil Chhetri won and converted a penalty in the 16th minute before Daniel Segovia finished off Erik Paartalu's pass just moments later to make it 2-0.
At the half-hour mark, Albert Roca's men pulled away further with a third goal, which was netted by young winger Udanta Singh. Chhetri was involved this time as well, setting up Singh with a squared ball to sweep home.
After going into half-time with a 3-0 cushion, Bengaluru began the second period with an eye for more goals. Their efforts were rewarded in the 62nd minute, when Segovia got his second goal of the evening with an improvised header to meet Subhasish Bose's cross.
Substitute Daniel Lalhimpuia completed the rout in the 89th minute, after flicking Chhetri's cut-back past the Aizawl keeper Lalawmpuia. This win means that Bengaluru complete the home-and-away double over Aizawl, and join group toppers New Radiant on 12 points, while the Maldivians remain ahead of them with a superior head-to-head record.
In order to qualify for the next round, Bengaluru will now need to defeat Abahani Limited Dhaka in their final game on May 16 and hope Aizawl do them a favour by denying New Radiant all three points.