Three points, pride, and bragging rights: Renewed rivalry brews among arch-rivals CFC and BFC

The sporting contest between Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC has been able to produce several animated moments over the years as the two teams have gone through thick and thin to put their side through and topple their fierce rivals.

With fans returning back for the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season, a boisterous atmosphere will be lit up at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, with supporters from either side making sure that their chants are heard in every corner of the stadium.

The two sides have a major change in their coaching personnel and in the style of football but that doesn’t stop the fixture from producing an engaging affair. With a win in their first game of the 2022-23 season, both sides are bound to be at their best and won’t be stopping at anything to register a win that matters more than just the three points.

Read: Chennaiyin FC take home turf as they look to end six-game winless run against Bengaluru FC

When Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC throw their respective hats in the ring on Friday, it will be the 12th meeting between the two former Hero ISL champions. In the 11 Hero ISL games between the two sides, the Blues have been the dominating force among the two registering six wins, and have found triumph against their southern rivals at least once in every season of the Hero ISL since their admission into the league in the 2017-18 season.

The Blues did the double over their rivals last season and have managed to keep five clean sheets in their last six encounters and hold the upper hand going into the contest. Although none of their attackers have got off their mark yet, the side still poses a serious attacking threat with the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Roy Krishna, and Sivasakthi Narayanan at the helm. 

The Machans, on the other side, have registered just three wins including one which came in the final of the 2017-18 season and their last win came in the subsequent season where they won the game 2-1. Since then, they have been winless for six games.

However, in Thomas Brdaric, the side has rejuvenated hope and have a different playing style which was evident in their 2-1 win against ATK Mohun Bagan where they showed their impressive attacking prowess in the second half. This might prove to be a decisive factor in the contest as the side has scored just four goals in the last eight meetings between the two. 

Season

Matches

CFC Wins

BFC Wins

Draws

CFC Goals

BFC Goals

2017-18

3

2

1

0

6

6

2018-19

2

1

1

0

2

2

2019-20

2

0

1

1

0

3

2020-21

2

0

1

1

0

1

2021-22

2

0

2

0

2

7

Overall

11

3

6

2

10

19

Surprisingly, both sides had to rely on their substitutes to find the winner in their respective games. Javi Hernandez assisted Alan Costa’s late match-winning header from a corner for BFC whereas Kwame Karikari contributed for both the goals for CFC, one with a penalty-kick while the other being an assist to Rahim Ali, who scored the match-winner.

In spite of the fierce rivalry between the Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC, when Thomas Brdaric faces Aidy Boothroyd, it will be a battle of two distinct playing styles where the Blues’ fortified defensive walls will be tested by the sheer attacking power of the Marina Machans.

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