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A strong second half display was capped off by a hat-trick from young Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia as Bengaluru FC’s U18s side claimed a 5-0 win over Fateh Hyderabad AFC in the Rest of India Zone Group A of the U18 I-League at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

The Blues had several chances through striker Sourav TP and Leon Augustine in the first half but could not find the net as Head Coach John Kila rung in changes with the introduction of U16 boy Lalrinzuala in the second period. A long range effort from left-back Jacob John gave BFC the opener as it evaded the jump of the Fateh ‘keeper and looped into the goal.

Jacob then turned provider as his cross fell to midfielder Vignesh V, who placed it into the far corner to double the Blues’ advantage. Coming off a strong show in the U16 Y-League in Goa, Lalrinzuala took over shooting duties. Jacob was once again the provider with his second assist of the evening for Zuala who tapped home his first from close range.

The 16-year-old, who is the youngest member of the Blue Colts’ side, then capitalized on a defensive mistake to claim his second with a neatly placed finish in the 77th.

Lalrinzuala then added a fifth to the Blue Colts’ tally, claiming his hat-trick from a cross swung in by Ajay Chhetri deep into stoppage time. Leaping higher than his marker, the striker’s unstoppable header hit the net as John Kila’s boys climbed to the top of the table.

“I am very happy with the performance. It took a little time for the boys to settle in with the pace of the game but we played better in the second half and the goals came. It was a balanced effort from defence to midfield and then attack and there are areas that need improvement that we’ll address in the days to come,” Kila said following the game.


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