Bengaluru, INDIA - Maziya S&R of the Maldives advanced to the 2020 AFC Cup group stage after defeating India's JSW Bengaluru FC, winning the Play-off 4-3 on penalties after the two-leg tie ended 4-4 on aggregate on Wednesday.
The second leg ended 3-2 in favour of Bengaluru, with extra-time needed after 90 minutes finished 2-1 in favour of the Indian side.
Maziya had also won the first leg 2-1 and were denied an outright win by a brilliant Sunil Chhetri free-kick in the 120th minute on Wednesday, with the Maldives side having taken the lead on aggregate through Cornelius Ezekiel in the 102nd minute. Away goals were not in play in extratime.
Maziya join India’s Chennai City FC, Maldives’ TC Sports Club and Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh in Group E of the 2020 AFC Cup.
Bengaluru’s dominance continued in the second half and in the 58th minute, the 2016 AFC Cup runners-up found the goal they were craving for after a counter-attack caught Maziya off guard with Suresh Singh Wangjam surging down the left flank before cutting the ball back for Brown to slot home.
Having lost their advantage, Maziya opted for a more attacking approach and 74 minutes in, Ibrahim Waheed Hassan equalised on the night and more importantly, put the Maldives club ahead on aggregate.
Bengaluru, however, fought back and talisman Chhetri put the finishing touch to a Nili attempt to draw his side level on aggregate in the 80th minute to force extra time.
Cornelius Ezekiel, who scored the winner in the first leg, swung the momentum Maziya's way when he struck with a right-footed strike in the 102nd minute.
Bengaluru, however, continued fighting and Chhetri ensured penalties would be needed when he fired home a free-kick from the edge of the box right at the death.
There was to be more drama in the shootout, with sudden death required after the teams finished 3-3 after five kicks, with Bengaluru's Parag Shrivas then skying his shot and Hussain Nihan slotting home to take Maziya through.