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Bengaluru FC suffer narrow defeat against Maziya S&RC in AFC Cup

The defending ISL champions will enter the second leg of the AFC Cup playoff round with a 2-1 deficit …

Bengaluru FC’s suffered a stutter in their Asian journey on Wednesday following a 2-1 defeat to Maziya S&RC in the first leg of the AFC Cup playoff round away from home.

Ibrahim Mahudhee (64’) opened the scoring for the hosts but Nili Perdomo (71’) equalised from the spot within seven minutes. Cornelius Stewart (80’) then scored the winner to provide his side with a slender advantage ahead of the second leg in Bengaluru next week.

Leon Augustine was handed his debut, with Sunil Chhetri out with an injury. He was joined by Semboi Haokip and Ashique Kuruniyan in attack.

An injury to Maziya striker Asadullah Abdullah within 10 minutes presented the hosts with an early disadvantage. But neither team was able to assert themselves in the first half, with Ibrahim Aisham enjoying the only real chance of the first half.

The game spring to life in the second period, with both sides displaying a newfound determination to take the lead. It was the hosts who broke the deadlock right after the hour-mark after Mahudhee got the better of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from distance after a promising sequence of play.

Carles Cuadrat responded by bringing on Deshorn Brown for Semboi. The Jamaican was immediately involved, suffering a foul in the box to win his side a penalty. Nili built on his positive form in Asia with a simple spot-kick to restore parity.

The hosts’ perseverance to take home all three points paid off with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines striker Stewart slotting it home to make it 2-1 with just 10 minutes of regular time left.

Bengaluru were unable to find a late goal and now find themselves entering the second leg with a 2-1 deficit. They play Indian Super League (ISL) giants ATK on 22nd February before hosting Maziya on 26th.

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