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Chhetri and Aizawl help BFC enter knockouts

17 May 2018

New Radiant has been eliminated from the AFC Cup after its defeat against India's Aizawl.

Daniel Segovia (13th min), Nishu Kumar (16th, 58th) and Sunil Chetri (60th) struck for BFC, who topped Group E with a resounding win and advanced in the competition.

Prior to the final round of fixtures, BFC and New Radiant were locked on 12 points but the latter's better head-to-head record meant that it needed to just match BFC's result to progress. Chetri led from the front as he assisted in three goals.

Bengaluru shot into the lead when Chhetri rolled the ball perfectly across the face of the goal, leaving Segovia with the simple job of scoring past Abahani 'keeper Sahidul Alam to make it 1-0.

Nishu Kumar doubled the margin in the 16th minute by a right footer from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner of the post also off a Sunil Chhetri pass, 2-0. The two early blows were enough to prompt Abahani into submission as Bengaluru hogged possession and began camping in the hosts' final third. Nishu scored his second of the evening when Chhetri chipped the ball over the Abahani defence and saw the former control the ball on his chest before firing home in the 57th minute.

New Radiant's Ibrahim Atheeq scored the team's first goal three minutes later and had other chances to score but to no avail.

After having finished runners-up in the recently concluded Indian Super League season, Bengaluru FC walked into the AFC Cup 2018 as favourites and have exhibited a dominating display so far, winning five out of six matches with a solitary loss to top the Group E standings.

A drawing process that involves four zones - Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and ASEAN - will determine Bengaluru's next opponents.

Chhetri and Aizawl help BFC enter knockouts