The fairytale run of the brightest star among the Indian football clubs continued. Bengaluru FC created ripples by becoming the first ever club to win the I-League in its debut season. The dream run continues. On Wednesday, Bengaluru FC became only the third Indian side to qualify for the AFC Cup semi-finals.
Bengaluru FC beat Singaporean club Tampines Rovers 1-0 on aggregate to move into the semis. The second leg of the quarterfinals ended in a rather, boring goalless draw at the Jalan Besar stadium. Bengaluru FC had triumphed over Tampines 1-0 in the first leg in Bangalore courtesy a C.K. Vineeth strike.
Newly elected Bengaluru FC coach Alberto Roca was delighted with the performance of the team. A former assistant coach of Barcelona, Roca pulled out all the stops by enforcing a disciplined tactical performance from his side. A fine showing from the Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh ensured that the Tampines could not find the end to equalize.
Led by Indian star Sunil Chettri, Bengaluru displayed grit to play out the match at the last moments of the match under continued pressure from the Tampines’ attack. The barrage of attacks were very high during the first half by former Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant. However, in the second half, Bengaluru did manage to create a few chances but could not convert any.
Bengaluru now meet defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim of Malaysia in the semi-finals. This would also be a repeat of the group-stage tie thereby, giving both teams a fair idea about the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, the club can avenge the two group-stage defeats in the semis which promises to be exciting.
So, clearly the dream run continues for Bengaluru FC and hopefully, it extends for the next match as well. Two I-League titles and a finalist at the 13th edition of the AFC Cup in the first 3 years of existence. This certainly calls for a marvellous description of the club. The Sportsrush wishes the team good luck in the semis!