With two wins in two matches, Bagan remained top of the group with Bangladesh’s Basundhara Kings defeating Odisha FC 3-2 earlier on Monday.
The penalty awarded by Bagan in the 41st minute was the kind of penalty that looks slick if done right and silly if not. In Bagan’s case, it turned out to be the latter. With Bagan leading 1-0, Cummings, instead of taking a shot on goal, attempted a pass. And while they looked ridiculous, Mazia mounted a counter attack.
Cummings fired a pass from the spot intended for Dimitri Petratos, but Croatian center back Sabastjan Antic, who had been impressive all night, guessed the play and jumped on the ball. Five minutes into the first half, Mazia equalized thanks to Tomoki Wada’s goal.
When Bagan dropped back instead of trying to block midfielder Regan Obeng and then Wada, the Japanese midfielder unleashed a cannon shot that left Vishal Kait with no chance. It was their only oneIn all their dominance, with 64% possession, the score was 1-1 at half-time.
Bagan began to dominate more in the second half. By the 71st minute, they had earned 15 corner kicks, but they never got a goal. Maziya goalkeeper Hussain Sharif, who was used for target practice, made a double save in the 50th minute, deflecting shots from Armando Sadiku and Cummings. Five minutes later, Glan Martins found Manveer Singh, who came on in place of right-back Ashish Rai, to add spice to the attack. But after a shot, as is often the case, Singh shot past.
Sharif, who by then had already tried to thwart the hosts’ attack by repeatedly calling for doctors, prevented Sadiq from taking a shot from close range. Team captain Brendan Hamill then hit a left-footed shot and in the 81st minute, Sharif punched away Singh’s shot, which was Bagan’s fifth goal in a game in which they had nine. Soon after, Sadiq and Sahal Abdul Samad. tried to find Cummings but this time, although Sharif was outpaced, the defender managed to keep the ball. the ball from the Australian by sticking his foot out.
Bagan started the game with six foreigners and had it not been for self-inflicted through back passes in an attempt to convert from the backline through Kuyt, one of which Anwar Ali saved Hamill’s goal in the 33rd minute, kept the Yellowjackets pinned down in their half of the pitch. Cummings scored in the 28th minute, his shot hitting the post after Hugo Boumous, Bagan’s most consistent player in the match, found him with a clever pass inside the box.
Another back pass, this time from the visitors’ side, resulted in Sadiku being on top of his game and Branimir Jocic knocked the Albanian down in the 40th minute. The 26,795 spectators would never have thought Bagan would do what he did after the conversation between Cummings, Petratos and Sadiku.
Cummings could have set the stage for the match, but the moment it looked like Bagan would lose the points thanks to a solid defensee, he found the winner by hitting Nutmeg S.kharif after Samad’s pass.