Mohun Bagan pip Hyderabad FC on penalties, make AFC Cup thrice in a row

Mohun Bagan FC
Photo: Twitter/Mohun Bagan FC

Mohun Bagan on Wednesday secured a place in the AFC Cup preliminary round for the third time on the trot, after clinching a 3-1 win on penalties in the Club Play-Off here.

The teams were locked 1-1 during regulation time.

The win helped Juan Ferrando’s men secure a place in the preliminary round of the AFC Cup. The Marines had made Inter-Zonal semi-finals in last two seasons.

The Mariners took a 20th minute lead when Dimitri Petratos struck against the run of play, combining well with Hugo Boumous.

Just before the break Joel Chianese struck the equaliser from a Borja Herrera pass for the Nizams.

There was no end to the stalemate even in the extra time as the match headed for a penalty shootout finish. Hyderabad FC also suffered a blow when their coach Manolo Marquez was sent off by referee R Venkatesh before the extra-time. In the shootout, Joao Victor was the only player to score for Hyderabad, while Petratos, Liston Colaco, and Kiyan Nassiri netted their respective penalties for Mohun Bagan.

Meanwhile, Sahil Tavora, Chianese, Odei Zabala missed their respective penalties for Hyderabad.

Hyderabad were the ones who started off the quicker of the two, controlling the game and also passing the ball with pace in midfield, Mohammed Yasir and Joao Victor the architects of everything good for them.

Mohun Bagan, though, have been known to punish even the slightest of errors and so it proved, when against the run of play to some extent, they opened the scoring. Boumous dribbled into the box from the right, before cutting the ball back on the top of the six-yard box to Petratos, who slammed it into the roof of the net to give ATK Mohun Bagan the lead. Hyderabad did not let their heads drop, and if anything, took more control of the ball, constantly switching flanks, patiently building up play.

A host of chances also fell their way, the best of the lot supplied by Akash Mishra, who from the left flank, did exactly what Boumous had done from ATKMBs right. The finish from Borja, though, was lacking. When it arrived, it came in much the same way, two minutes before halftime. This time, Borja turned supplier, cutting the ball back from the byline for Chianese to apply the finish.

In a second half played mostly to the tunes of Hyderabad FC, chances were few and far between, with the best of the lot falling to Chianese in injury time. This time the Australian shot wide from six yards, when perhaps putting it in the goal was easier. The tense finish and some tough and close refereeing calls led to tempers flowing at the final whistle.

It eventually led to a red card for the Hyderabad FC head coach.

Both teams were cautious in extra time, the fear of making an error superseding the need to find a winner.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)