Daniel Lalhlimpuia's second-half goal was enough for Bengaluru FC to seal a win against Abahani Dhaka in their AFC Cup group fixture at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Albert Roca fielded a fully revamped starting lineup with the Indian Super League (ISL) final on March 17 in mind. Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Thongkhosiem Haokip were fielded upfront with Robinson Singh, Malsawmzuala, Victor Perez and Alwyn George all starting the game as Roca trusted his second-string side to come away with a win.
Bari Titu made three changes to his lineup after their AFC Cup defeat against New Radiant on March 7. Alison, Badshah and Mamun Miah came into the side for Sajeeb, Uddin and Nwadialu.
In a match that started off with both sides reluctant to take risks, shots on target were few and far in between. The visitors had the first major opening of the match when Mohamed Miah's cross was headed towards the bottom left corner of the net by an alert Seiya Kojima inside the box but Ralte was quick to get down in time to save his effort.
The home side slowly settled into the game as the first half wore on but chances created were mostly from long-range efforts. New signing Victor Perez tries his luck from outside the box but his stinging right-footed effort was was blocked. In the 33rd minute, Daniel Lalhimpuia's long-range effort flew past goalkeeper Alam who was almost beaten despite his desperate dive.
The second-half started just like the first as the persistent midfield battle failed to churn out a clear winner. Daniel Segovia, who was left on the bench by Roca, came into the fray in place of Robinson as the former Barcelona assistant coach looked to up the ante. The substitution worked wonders as Segovia influenced proceedings and ultimately helped the home side break the deadlock.
In the 72nd minute, Alwyn George's cross was headed into the path of Daniel Lalhlimpuia by the super-sub. The fox in the box slapped the ball hard into the net to turn match-winner on a difficult Asian cup matchday.
The Bangladeshi league champions' lack of conviction in front of goal made it easier for the Blues to close the game out and secure all three points.