Watson’s strike and Amrinder heroic sends Blues to final

watson Amrinder

A late drama ensued at the end as Amrinder made a last-minute save from Chullova’s penalty to send Blues through to Federation Cup final

An 8th-minute penalty kick from Cameron Watson and a last minute injury time save from Amrinder ensured Albert Roca and co. seal the finals spot of the 2017 Federation Cup.

Aizawl FC lined up in their usual 4-4-2 formation with Kamo Bayi and Jayesh Rane leading the attack along with Brandon Vanlalremdika and Laldanmawia Ralte starting on the flanks. For Bengaluru, Albert Roca opted for a 5-4-1 shape with Harmanjot Khabra, Sandesh Jhingan, John Johnson, Salam Ranjan Singh and Juanan manning the backline. Injured skipper Sunil Chhetri was replaced by Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the middle while CK Vineeth started up top as the lone striker.

The game started with blues taking an early lead in the 8th minute, Alwyn George was brought down inside the Aizawl FC box by a poor challenge as the referee rightly pointed straight to the spot. Cameron Watson stepped up and slotted the ball into the left bottom corner to put the Blues in front. Minutes later Aizawl had a chance to level things up when Kamo found himself inside the box with the ball but a well-timed block by Juanan ensured kamo failed to shoot.

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watson Amrinder

In order to get back in the game, Aizawl resorted to long rangers but failed to trouble Amrinder. Kamo Bayi had one more golden chance at the half hour mark when his unmarked header from laldanmawia cross went wayward. Nearing the end of first half, Cameroon Watson almost doubled the lead when his strike from outside the box was saved by the woodwork as both sides entered the tunnel with the blues leading by a solitary goal.

The second half followed the same script as both sides wasted quite a number of chances; Aizawl played a high line defence to catch blues offside. The reigning I-league champions were almost caught napping on two occasions when CK Vineeth and Alwyn George both came into a one-on-one situation. Both the time the linesman called offside to what looked a doubtful decision on replay. While Aizawl wasted their chances, Mahmoud Al-Amna, Aizawl’s Syrian import, who was given a freedom to attack by the coach, got himself booked for simulation.

But the drama was yet to finish, in the 97th minute Sandesh Jhingan’s moment of madness almost cost blues the lead. An onrushing Kamo Bayi was brought down by Jhingan inside the box which led to a spot-kick being awarded to Aizawl FC. However, 21-year-old Lalramchullova couldn’t get the better of Amrinder Singh as the goalkeeper dived to the right side of the delivery to deny Aizawl the equaliser.

Bengaluru FC will now face the winner of the Kolkata derby on 21st May in the ultimate tie of the competition with a chance to get one silverware for this season and with a participation in the next year’s AFC competition at stake

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