Male: India’s Aizawl FC suffered a 1-3 drubbing at the hands of New Radiant in their maiden group stage AFC Cup match, with inspirational skipper Ali Ashfaq’s hat-trick leading the Maldivian charge here on Wednesday.
The 2016-17 I-League winners, playing with 10 men for some part of the second half, found the day’s opener in the 33rd minute, but the game belonged to New Radiant as star striker Ashfaq scored in the 40th, 77th and 85th minutes at the National Stadium.
The three points secured from the game lifted New Radiant, champions of Maldives, to the top Group E with two wins from as many games.
Coming after an unimpressive I-League campaign where they managed to stave off relegation, Aizawl drew first blood in the game when Lalram Hmunmawia, with his left foot, sent the ball to the left corner of the empty net for the Indian club’s first goal in the continental competition.
Ali Ashfaq’s exploits began with five minutes to go in the first half itself when he slotted in a…