Durand Cup 2021: Delhi FC, Bengaluru FC enter quarterfinalsSeptember 22, 2021
Delhi FC and Bengaluru FC on Tuesday entered the quarter-finals of the 130th Durand Cup football tournament after notching up contrasting wins over Kerala Blasters and Indian Navy here respectively.
At the Kalyani Municipality Stadium, Willis Plaza scored the winner in the 53rd minute as Delhi beat Kerala 1-0, while Bengaluru recovered from a 0-2 deficit at the half-way stage to outwit Indian Navy 5-3 at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan (YBK).
Plaza is now the top scorer of the tournament with four goals to his name.
It turned out to be a thrilling contest as Indian Navy led 2-0 against heavyweights Bengaluru FC at the end of the first-half.
The Blues looked totally off colour in the first 45 minutes. They missed quite a number of chances to convert and the Indian Navy dominated the game for almost the entire half.
In the 19th minute, Jijo took a gorgeous shot from outside the box to put Indian Navy one goal up.
A few minutes later, Bengaluru had a golden opportunity to equalise when a Harmanpreet cross was well received by Siva Sakthi, who took a cross-footed shot at the goal but it went over the bar.
In the 30th minute, Sreyas, who has had a very good tournament, scored the second for Navy.
Just a few minutes after half time, a fumble in the Navy goal meant Bengaluru’s Leon Augustine had an easy chance to score but he failed to convert.
However, things changed quickly as Bengaluru raised the tempo. A smart turn by Lyngdoh opened up the Navy defence and Leon halved the deficit in the 53rd minute.
Bengaluru sailed on their newfound momentum and were drawn back on level terms by Harmanpreet Singh in the 61st minute.
In the 75th minute, Bengaluru were awarded a penalty which Ajay Chhetri converted as the game seemed to be slipping away from the Navy.
Harmanpreet got his second of the game in the 81st minute to make it 4-2, essentially ending all hopes of a comeback.
Thoi Singh added a fifth to make it 5-2 in stoppage time but there was still room for one last strike, with Vijay scoring a consolation goal to end the game 5-3.
Harmanpreet of Bengaluru FC and defender Anwar Ali of Delhi were FC adjudged to be the Man of the Match.
Bengaluru ended at the top in Group C, while Delhi FC went through to the quarter-finals as runners-up from the group.
The quarter-final matches will get underway on Thursday with defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC up against local favourites Mohammedan Sporting at the VYBK.