Sunil Chhetri curls Bengaluru into AFC Cup knock out stage

Stunning free kick from Sunil Chhetri against a resilient Maziya ensured Bengaluru FC a place in the knock-out stages of AFC Cup 2017 as the Indian side topped the Group E with equal number of points with Maziya.

Maziya outplayed Bengaluru FC for a large period of the first half and Alexandar Rakic was unlucky not open the scoring in the 18th minute when his header from inside the box hits the post after receiving a brilliant cross from Samooh Ali.

Then on 32 minutes, Yasfaad Habeeb was presented a decent chance but he fired the shot straight into the gloves of Bengaluru FC keeper Amrinder.

Five minutes later, Mohamed Irufan fired a thunderous shot from outside the box but it was saved by keeper Amrinder.

The teams headed back at half time with Maziya looking the better side but nothing to show for as the score being goalless at the break.

Bengaluru came out all guns blazing after the break and Eugeneson had a decent chance almost immediately after the restart but his effort was too weak.

However, they got the goal they wanted in the 57th minute when Sunil Chhetri curled in a free-kick over the wall into the top corner of the net.

Minutes later, the best chance for Maziya fell to Ashadh Ali in the 64th minute but somehow he failed to convert the vital chance. The rebounded ball from Rakic shot fell to Assad Ali who missed the target from close range as he fired his shot wide.

That miss would go on prove to be crucial as Maziya couldn’t find another chance with Bengaluru winning most of the midfield battle after the introduction of experienced Lenny Rodrigues.

This result means, Maziya and Bengaluru FC are level on 12 points after the completion of the group stages but the Indian side get the edge on head-to-head record against Maziya as they came on top on both occasion with an identical 1-0 victory on both home and away matches.

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