Blue Colts Let Two-Goal Advantage Slip As Aakraman FC Win 4-3 In Extra-Time
Gangtok, Sikkim: Bengaluru FC B failed to protect a two-goal cushion, losing 4-3 to Sikkim Akraman FC in extra-time in the quarterfinals of the 38th All India Governor’s Gold Cup International Football Tournament, at the Paljor Stadium in Gangtok, Sikkim, on Monday.
Naorem Roshan Singh (23’) and Namgyal Bhutia (27’) scored in the first half to give BFC B a two-goal lead before Eric (40’) made it 2-1 going into the breather.
Substitute Parag Shrivas (53’) struck immediately after the restart to make it 3-1 in favour of Naushad Moosa’s side before back-to-back goals from Bijendra Rai (72’) and Tempo Bhutia (75’) levelled the scores at the end of regulation time. Dawa Lepcha (98’) struck the winner for the home side in the first period of extra time to send Aakraman FC through to the semifinal.
After a slow start to the game, the Blue Colts who were seeing more of the ball, upped their tempo and broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute. Defender Rakesh Oram sent one over the Aakraman defence to find attacker Roshan Singh clear in the box. The latter outpaced his marker to get to the ball, before finishing it through Aakraman FC ’keeper Bipin Bhattrai’s legs.
The Blue Colts doubled their advantage four minutes later when another aerial ball opened up the Aakraman defence. Midfielder Altamash Sayed found Namgyal Bhutia clear down the right who controlled the ball with his first touch before firing home at the near post.
Down two goals, the home side tried pushing up and had a great chance to get one back minutes after the half hour mark, but it was BFC custodian Shainkhan CP who made a fantastic double save to keep the scores unchanged. He first blocked Tempo’s shot from close range before producing another save to deny Nima Tamang on the rebound.
Aakraman finally got their goal five minutes from the break when Nima Tamang’s pass down the middle, found striker Eric free outside the box, and the number seven made no mistake in lobbing over Shainkhan, who tried to close him down.
The Blue Colts restored their two-goal cushion eight minutes into the second half when substitute Parag Shrivas, on for medio Ajay Chhetri, scored from close range after brilliant work by Bhutia. The wingback’s pace allowed him to make his way into the box after controlling Leon Augustine’s pass, and cut it back for Parag who timed his run well to make it 3-1.
Moosa’s boys dominated the proceedings, but Aakraman FC came up with a quickfire double to level the scores. First it was substitute Bijendra Rai who tapped home from close after ’keeper Shainkhan failed to clear a long throw and then three minutes later Tempo made it 3-3, with an effort from the edge of the box.
With no winner after 90 minutes, the game headed to extra time where Aakraman FC completed their turnaround. Dawa Lepcha finished off Bijendra Rai’s freekick to score the winner for the home side.
Bengaluru FC B return to Bengaluru, where they will commence preparations for the BDFA Super Division League, scheduled to kick-off in just over a weeks’ time.