Bengaluru FC reached the Inter-Zone Playoff semi-finals after defeating Abahani Dhaka 4-0, topping group E, thanks to Aizawl FC's 2-1 win over New Radiant from Maldives.
The Blues were in danger of missing out on qualification as they needed a win in their last game and also required Aizawl to defeat New Radiant to help seal their progress.
Fortunately, their Indian colleagues stepped up to the plate, getting past the Maldivian side 2-1 and helping Bengaluru go through.
For their part, Albert Roca's side put in a professional display, thrashing hosts Abahani 4-0 thanks to a hat-trick of assists and a goal from captain Sunil Chhetri.
ASIA, WE'RE NOT DONE WITH YOU! We showed up in Dhaka, Aizawl showed up in Guwahati and that, people, is that. GET IN THERE! Knock-out stages, here we come... #BluesInAsia #WeAreBFC pic.twitter.com/omVciOdY5g— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) May 16, 2018
The first goal was scored by Daniel Segovia after he was found in front of goal by Chhetri. The team's talisman then found Nishu Kumar in acres of space and the full-back finished calmly to double their lead.
The Indian captain then provided another assist for Nishu, as his chip over the defence found the youngster, who made no mistake with his finish. A mistake by the Abahani goalkeeper allowed Chhetri to score and complete the scoreline.
On the other hand, the match in Guwahati saw the home side take a 2-0 cushion through Leonce Dodoz and Andrei Ionescu, who scored in the 62nd and 81st minutes to put New Radiant on the verge of elimination.
Though the away side pulled one back through Ibrahim Atheeg, it was too late for them to score two more goals and they squandered their position at the top of the table to Bengaluru.
Here are the best reactions from Twitter:
All I can say is thank you @AizawlFC for doing us a huge favour. It wasn’t easy tonight in Bangladesh but so proud of the team to win the way we did and to finish the season so strongly! https://t.co/P8geBJjMBs— ErikPaartalu (@ErikPaartalu) May 16, 2018
Let's all join the chorus... 🎵🎶 pic.twitter.com/4bgskY7mz8— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) May 16, 2018
Do I believe in Miracles? YES! @bengalurufc through to knockouts of the @AFCCup ! What a dominating performance at Dhaka. Also thank you @AizawlFC we owe you one. @RocaDT_Oficial @GurpreetGK @WestBlockBlues #AFCCup2018 #WeAreBFC #ALDvBEN pic.twitter.com/BDl9CYkEGB— Varsha Rajsekhar (@VarshaRajWBB) May 16, 2018
I cannot believe it!— Aditya Kashyap (@adityakashyap95) May 16, 2018
Thank you @AizawlFC
It's another year of AFC football for us @bengalurufc the only Indian team in the competition now and we know they'll make our country proud again! #AFCCup2018
Deserving @bengalurufc does it in style after @AizawlFC play their part. An Indian club helps another. @IndianFootball #BackTheBlue #AsianDream #BlueEyes @MandarTamhane1 @GurpreetGK @kunmajgaonkar @UdantaK https://t.co/xBUbdU0p1A— Nilanjan Datta (@DattaNilanjan) May 16, 2018
THIS IS IT!@AizawlFC give the gift of the season to @bengalurufc— TFG Football (@TFGfootball) May 16, 2018
The Reds are 2-0 ahead against New Radiant, they're about to help the Blues get into the knockouts... #indianfootball #ALDvBEN #AIZvNRD #AFCCup2018