Matchday Five - Group E: New Radiant SC 5-1 Abahani Limited Dhaka
Male: A hat-trick from midfielder Ali Fasir helped New Radiant Sports Club to a comfortable 5-1 win over Abahani Limited Dhaka on Wednesday to remain top of Group E in the 2018 AFC Cup.
Coming off a confidence boosting win over Bengaluru FC in their last outing, the home side were determined to maintain their good run of form, but it was the visitors who almost struck first when Ndukaku Alison missed a glorious chance.
Ndukaku then made matters worse by conceding a penalty 10 minutes later when he fouled Ali Ashfaq in the area. Fasir took the spot-kick responsibilities and made no mistake to give the home side the lead.
Ashfaq and Fasir continued to threaten as the half wore on, but neither could find the back of the net to add to their one goal lead.
Just 15 seconds into the second half and the visitors were level thanks to a sumptuous volley from Seiya Kojima.
But the goal did little to swing the momentum of the match, and three goals in seven minutes, including two to Fasir to complete his hat-trick and one to Ashfaq, completely swung the match in favour of the home side.
Ashfaq then added a second of his own just two minutes before full time to round out the thumping victory.
The win for New Radiant keeps them top of Group E ahead of India’s Bengaluru FC, with just one match left to play against bottom-of-the-group Aizawl in two weeks. Should they win that match they will secure a spot in the knockout rounds of the AFC Cup for the first time since 2013.
The loss officially ended Abahani Limited’s campaign ahead of their final group stage match against Bengaluru in Dhaka in two weeks.