Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Aqueel Ansari, the dimunitive former international from Mumbai has converted many a ‘spot kick’ for various teams in his long career.

But on Friday, playing for Bengal Mumbai FC (BMFC), the ageing medio missed what proved to be a crucial one.

State Bank of Travancore (SBT, Thiruvananthapuram)’s custodian P.V. Harshal Rahman turned instant hero as his team won 4-3 on penalties in the qualifying knock-out round of the 30th Federation Cup football encounter at the football stadium here on Friday.

The teams were locked goalless after both regulation and extra-time. BMFC showed some aggression in patches but did not look like making much progress.

SBT, too, lacked the firepower of the team that was pleasing to watch about a few years ago and showed urgency only from midway into the second half.

Even in the penalty shoot-out, the teams went even-stevens before Aqueel found his shot saved by Harshal.

Abdul Basheer, Abdul Hakim, C.J. Rinil and Paul Anthony managed to get past Sarfaraz Ansari in the BMFC goal while Kabeer shot into the upright.

Robin Kujur, Abdul Lateef Siriki and Sarfaraz Ansari converted for BMFC while Raja and Aqueel missed.

SBT is now a match away from making the tournament proper.

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