Bengaluru FC eliminated after goalless AFC Cup draw against Bashundhara Kings
2018-19 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions Bengaluru FC fought hard but couldn’t beat Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings in their AFC Cup Group D South Zone encounter at the National Football Stadium in Male (Maldives) on Saturday. The 0-0 draw meant they are not in contention for the inter-zone semi-final anymore.
- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had a couple of great saves for Bengaluru FC.
- Alan Costa headed into the crossbar in the 74th minute.
- Bengaluru FC really dominated last 20 minutes or so but couldn’t score.
Bengaluru FC began well after kick-off. It was clear they wanted to get ahead early into the contest and they did penetrate the opposition box a couple of times, however, they were not clear-cut opportunities and eventually nothing came of them. Bidyashagar Singh and Danish Farooq particularly caught the eye for the Blues in the opening exchanges.
A moment of scare came for Marco Pezzaiuoli’s men on the 21-minute mark as Yrondu Musavu-King brought down a marauding Robinho just outside the box which resulted in a yellow card for the defender. Luckily for the Blues, the resultant free-kick found the wall.
In the 30th minute, Robinho was in action again but after receiving a good ball he failed to get past an alert Naorem Roshan Singh -- to the big relief of the Bengaluru FC camp.
Three minutes later, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu came to the Blues’ rescue as Fernandes aimed for goal from distance only to be denied by the Indian custodian who parried the well-hit strike away.
Roshan and Chhetri combined well in the 39th minute from the left but the Kings’ defence was equal to the task. The scoreline remained 0-0 at the break. To all intents and purposes, the half belonged to the 2021 Bangladesh Premier League champions, even though the Blues had begun well.
The Kings started the second half the way they had finished the first. They dominated possession and came really close to scoring in the 56th minute. Biplu Ahmed found Robinho from the left and the Brazilian took a nice shot but was denied by an alert Sandhu, followed by an acrobatic clearance by Roshan and another save from the Blues custodian.
Chhetri also came close five minutes later after he met a Suresh Wangjam delivery nicely but he couldn’t keep it on target as his header sailed over the crossbar. In the 74rd minute, Alan Costa almost put the Blues ahead but his header off a corner hit the crossbar. There was a brief appeal for goal as the ball appeared to have crossed the goalline before being collected by Kings goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico but the referee thought otherwise.
Bengaluru FC really upped the ante thereafter, and in the 82nd minute Silva went for goal from outside the box but his shot was saved by the Kings goalkeeper. Four minutes later, Leon Augustine also had a great opportunity to put the Blues ahead but his shot was blocked in the box.
The deadlock was not broken for the remainder for the game and the Blues found themselves out of the competition. In their last group match on August 24, they play local side Maziya Sports & Recreation.