Bashundhara Kings had no such pressure to win. If only a draw would have happened, then the group champions would have gone to the knockout stage of the AFC Cup. But the champion club of Bangladesh lost 1-0 in the field of Odisha FC of India.
Odisha dominated the match from the start, but the key difference in the match was a controversial decision by the referee in added time of the first half – Bashundhara’s Uzbek midfielder Gofurov was shown a red card.
Gafurov fouled an Odisha player in the midfield while taking the ball away. There was a foul – no doubt about it. However, a yellow card is usually shown for such a foul, the referee showed a red card. Gofurov left the field crying.
Odisha also withstood many attacks Bashundhara were level at the break, but having to play with half a dozen men in such a pressured match means dealing with uneven pressure. Bashundhara coach Oscar Brujon raised his two hands in front of the referee while leaving the field at the break, that gesture was his protest.
Brujon is bound to be disappointed. Before the match yesterday in the press conference, coach Bashundhara expressed apprehension about the decisions of the referee going against his team in fifty-fifty situations, this is what happened in today’s match.
Bashundhara’s heart broke in the 62nd minute of the second half. From the corner, Odisha’s Murtoda Phal hooked the ball into Bashundhara’s net with a header. Bashundhara still fought back, getting a couple of chances. However, the failure of Darielton-Robson has burned the forehead of the Bangladeshi club.
With the win, Odisha went to the knockout stage, Bashundhara returns with a huge disappointment. After the match, one or two players of Bashundhara told the referee two or four words, but there was no benefit, rather there was fear of loss.