Bengaluru FC becomes the third club in Indian history to reach AFC Cup semi-finals
Bengaluru FC become the third club in Indian history to reach to the semi-finals of AFC Cup championship. Indian domestic I-league champions stopped Singapore Tampines Rovers playing away at 0-0. Bengaluru FC who were 1-0 up from 1st leg at home, held the hosts for a goalless draw and secure their place in semi-finals.
Indian goal scorer from the 1st leg, wasn’t part of Albert Roca’s line-up, but the new joiners Watson, Juanan, Alvaro Rubio and John Johnson all started for the champions. Indian national team skipper Sunil Chhetri finds his place in the team as a playmaker rather than playing as a central striker.
In the first half Tampines put pressure on Bengaluru, but Indian champs were well aware about the dangers hosts were going to cause. Jermaine Pennant, Jordon Webb and Billy Mehmet were making life miserable for Bengaluru defenders, but Amrinder Sandhu brought something to cheer for visitors as he cleared out Sujad’s powerful shot only to concede a corner.
Indian side Bengaluru didn’t have a shot on goal in first hour of the game as Tampines dominated the possession at Jalan Besar stadium. Bengaluru had a goal advantage from 1st leg and they were ready to sit back and defend their lead, and looking to counter-attack from any loose ball. In first-half Tampines had their chances to take the lead, when Pennat slide the ball for Sujad, but no one was there to grab the opportunity. Eugeneson corner-kick also goes in vain, as it didn’t find any of the players in set-up inside the penalty box, but it was Bengaluru who has a real chance when Lyngdoh slid in a ball for Vineeth whose shots touches the bar, and visitors were not ablte to double their lead.
In Second-half Bengaluru find some energy and counter back. Chhetri attempted a left footed shot, but it was cleanly saved by Izwan Mahbud. Another occasion Chhetri played a brilliant ball on left but winger couldn’t make the most of it. There was time when it look like an injury time blow will take the game in extra time, but Arminder made sure Bengaluru will create history.
JSW steel owned Bengaluru FC become the third club from India after Dempo (2008), and East Bengal (2013) to mark this feet of qualifying in top four of AFC Cup championship. Albert Roca is only in his 2nd match at charge of I-league champions Bengaluru FC, and he already has something to cheer. Well, he will be waiting for the semi-finals draw to know better about Bengaluru FC opponent in semi-final of AFC Cup, till then he can prepare for semi-final.