THE GAME OVERALL WAS SLOW-PACED and both teams opted to play attack only on breaks. An Early penalty was enough to send the team from Karnataka to the final of the Federation Cup final. Aizawl did not look fiery after going down in the eighth minute. Much of that was that Bengaluru had parked the bus and played compact to negate the short passing game of Aizawl.
First attack of the game came from Bengaluru from the left. The ball came in the middle where Vineeth was waiting. The cross takes a deflection but Albino keeps his body behind and collects.
Early speedy from Bengaluru as the quick wall pass along the right touchline had played the ball forward to Allwyn in the box. The BFC player was favourite to win the ball and he was brought donw and the referee had no doubt about the penalty. Watson stepped up and scored to give BFC the lead.
Aizawl in the 13th minute had a chance get level as Alfred picked Kamo brilliantly who was free in the box behind the defence. Kamo has turned well with a clear sight on goal. He took a second too long before the defender stole it from his leg as he was about to shoot.
Bengaluru had broken the AFC defence when Vineeth was in lots of space and Alfred comes out of nowhere to slide in and win the ball. The ball rebounds and falls to Vineeth again. He sets up Allwayn who was coming in on the top of the box. His effort was skied. Good chance wasted.
Amna was on the ball, he passed the ball to Brandon in space on the left wing. Amna was fouled but ref played the advantage. Brandow cut in the middle to Kamo. BFC crowd out the Aizawl players deny any space to get the shot away.
Kamo was found unmarked and played in form the right as he was played in the box, 8 yards form goal. His free headers was hit totally wide of the goal.
Khabra was laid for a shot in from of the box and Alfred lays his body in front of the shot to block the shot. Danmawia was played in from the top of the defence to his darting runs in the box. Bengaluru had made sure he was caught in the offside trap.
Bengaluru with Watson’s shot had taken a deflection on the way and it hits the crossbar and rebounds. The ball fell to Lyngdoh was yards from goal and his shot was hurried and could only fins the hands of Albino. Amrinder had a nervy moment when he stepped outside his box to head clear a ball only to find an Aizawl player, who takes a touché and tries to aim the open net but fails to get it on target as Amrinder raced back to his line.
A tactical substitution by Aizawl as Brandon on the left wing was replaced by William just minutes before half time. Quick counter by Bengaluru saw Lyngdoh on the ball trying his luck from some distance seeing Albino off his line but could not keep his effort of target. The first half saw Aizawl creating multiple chances but Bengaluru opting for the crowding play had been denying Aizawl the space to operate.
The second half saw Vineeth picking up a yellow for kicking away after he was caught offside and the whistle had been blown. Amna was the next to pick a yellow as he went down in the box. First it looked like a penalty claim but the referee, close to the action seen it as a simulation for a penalty.
Albino’s half punches and the defences poor clearances saw BFC in the Aizawl FC half with multiple corners being conceded by Aizawl. Cornell Glen was brought on in place of Vineeth for BengaluruFC.
Aizawl have been kept well away from the box and restricted to long range efforts as they the final third was often crowded by about eight Bengaluru players in front of the box. Aizawl in the second half looked a bit lazy in the approach as the pace of the game had dropped significantly. Bengaluru were comfortable to sit back and wait for counter attacks to charge forward. Glen had a chance which he should have buried to seal the game for his team but he missed to hit the target.
Khalid sent in his second and third substitutes in an attempt to find the equaliser. The pace picked up but there was no way through to the beat the BFC defence.
In the seven minutes added in the second half, Aizawl had a chance when two players rose high to head in a long ball, the headers was under not much pressure. The last minute of the injury time had drama as Jhingan gave away a penalty. Chullova stepped up and Amrinder guessed right and made the save. The final whistle was blown right after that and Bengaluru were into the finals of the Federation Cup.