AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC lose to Johor Southern Tigers, go bottom of Group H

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Image Courtesy: © Twitter - AFC Cup

AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC lose to Johor Southern Tigers, go bottom of Group H

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Debarshee Mitra

03/09/2016

Bengaluru FC lost their second match on the bounce to go bottom of Group H as Malaysian side JDT took all three points at the Kantaveera stadium today. The defeat leaves the home side with two defeats in two matches and face an uphill task in search of qualification from the next four games.

Bengaluru FC XI: Lalthuammawia Ralte(GK), Salam Ranjan Singh, John Johnson, Vishal Kumar, Lalchhuan Mawia, Keegan Pereira, Thoi Singh, Micheal Collins, Siam Hangal,  Seminlen Doungel, Udanta Singh

Johor Southern Tigers XI: Izham Tarmizi(GK), Marcos Antonio, Aidil Zafuan, S. Kunanlan, Fazly Mazlan, Amirul Hadi, Azamuddin Akil, Safiq Rahim, Hariss Harun, Diaz Pereyra, Juan Martin Lucero

AFC Cup action returned to the Kantaveera stadium, as Bengaluru FC played hosts to Malaysian team Johor Southern Tigers(JDT) in their second group game. After the defeat in the first game to Lao Toyota, the home side set up tight at the back for this fixture. The home team started on the front foot as Udanta Singh came close to scoring in the very first minute, but Tigers' goalie Izham palmed away the winger’s shot.

The game followed a cat-and-mouse pattern with Bengaluru FC keeping things tight at the back with John Johnson leading the pack as Juan Lucero and co. continued to threaten the home defence. With half-time around the corner, JDT midfielder Diaz Pereyra’s dominance on the game started to grow. However, the Argentine was at fault when JDT created their best opportunity of the first half, only for Diaz to fire wide with the goal gaping.

The second half started with Bengaluru FC looking like the more hungry side. Udanta Singh’s corner found John Johnson unmarked inside the box, but the English defender headed over the bar. As feared by most, the visitors made the Blues pay for that miss by taking the lead 4 minutes later. Lucero went down easily to earn the Malaysian club a free kick, which was arrowed in to the top corner by Safiq Rahim to put JDT 1-0 up.

After the goal, the Malaysian champions started to dominate proceedings with a host of chances created, but failed to build on the lead. Diaz had his shot blocked from a corner in the 65th minute, while Lucero’s shot from outside the box was easily lapped up by Ralte.

In the 80th minute, JDT captain Safiq Rahim came close to his second goal after dribbling into the box, but saw his left-footed shot roll just wide of the goal.

With 10 minutes to go, Bengaluru FC started to pour men forward in order to grab the equalizer. In the 85th minute, Udanta Singh’s corner bypassed Izham but Alwyn George could not find his footing to put the ball in the net. Udanta Singh and Salam Ranjan Singh kept on pumping balls into the box but to no avail, as the Malaysian champions held on to their one-goal advantage.  

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