Bengaluru FC Under-18 boys secured qualification to the final round of the U-18 I-League with a game to play as a hattrick from Ajay Chettri outlined a 7-0 win over Fateh Hyderabad AFC at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in a Rest of India Zone Group A clash, on earlier today. Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia (2), Shelton Paul and Vignesh V were also on the scoresheet as the John Kila-coached side displayed yet another strong second half show.
Youngsters Nonganba Singh and Mohammad Saqlain were given their first starts of the campaign as Jacob John and Leon Augustine dropped to the bench. After a first half riddled with chances, Kila replaced striker Sourav TP with Lalrinzuala.
Vignesh opened the scoring for the Blues, getting his foot to a strike from Jestin George to guide it past the Fateh ’keeper early in the second half. Lalrinzuala then grabbed his first with a shot from close range before Shelton’s effort from a tight angle made it 3-0 with 60 minutes on the clock.
Lalrinzuala turned provider for a moment as his pass found Chettri in space to shoot and score the Blues’ fourth. He then took over goal scoring responsibilities once again as he stuck a long ranger for his side’s fifth and his second goal of the evening.
Chhetri then scored his second and third in quick succession, dispatching a penalty before a well-placed long range effort earned him the match-ball.
“I’m very happy for the boys, the staff, and club management because we’ve qualified to the final round of the U18 and U16 I-League. We’re still focusing on the final game because we want to go unbeaten. After a tough first half, we’ve scored seven goals in the second half, which means there are still plenty of areas that need improvement and we’ll look to address them,” said Kila after the game.
The Blue Colts take on Ozone Football Academy in the final clash of the campaign on Sunday, at 2pm.