Bengaluru United defeated Indian Air Force 4-2 in Group A in the Durand Cup. As a result, the I-League 2nd division club becomes the first team to qualify for the knockouts this season.
Indian Air Force player Vivek scored a brace. But it wasn’t enough as Pedro Manzi and Yumnam Gopi Singh also scored twice. The Bengaluru-based club had earlier defeated CRPF 1-0 and would be facing I-League side Mohammedan SC next.
Bengaluru United defeats Indian Air Force in a nail-biting encounter
FC Bengaluru United have got themselves a prolific goalscorer in the form of Pedro Manzi. The 32-year-old Spaniard forward is a well-known face in Indian football. He has now three goals in 2 matches and would be one of the favourites to be the Top scorer.
The lower league side were under pressure right from the start as Indian Air Force pushed for an early attack. However, goalkeeper Kunzang Bhutia was up to the rescue. However, United took the lead in the 21st minute. The referee awarded a penalty after a handball foul done by the regimental team’s defender.
Pedro Manzi successfully converted the penalty. Seven minutes later, the lead was extended further by Yumnam Singh, a delicious chip over the opponent custodian. However, Air Force scored a goal two minutes before halftime. A weak defensive performance from the 2nd division club allowed Vivek to capitalize.
In the second half, it was a better performance from the Air Force team as they grabbed an equalizer in the 51st minute. A well-taken corner and a sublime header from Vivek, who scored his second goal for the day. An energetic initial minutes for the regimental side but they missed many chances in the latter stages.
Finally, it was Bengaluru who had the last laugh as Gopi Singh and Manzi scored in the dying minutes to hand the southern club a thrilling victory. Whereas, Air Force were giving a good fight and could have done better if they converted their brilliant chances into goals.
Vivek, the star man for Air Force, missed many chances and could have grabbed a hattrick. Next up, Bengaluru United face Mohammedan FC in the group winner decider match on 14th September although both teams have qualified for the knockouts.
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