Category: Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC 1-1 Mohun Bagan AC Match Report

My hands are trembling to the extent where I have retyped each word. Well, not each word. An enthralling game, a massive crowd and an alcohol dependency will do that to you I suppose. I’m writing this on the back of the best game of football witnessed at the Bengaluru stadium ever! The atmosphere was off the hook! Walking into the stadium along with thousands of fellow supporters was an experience in itself. The camaraderie was unmissable. Looking around the stadium, I saw hordes of people wearing the JSW jersey and it was evident that everyone around that place had only one thing on their mind.

Right. So onto the game itself. The starting eleven was fairly straightforward but notable absentees were Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh much to my displeasure. I was really looking forward to seeing the two of them right at the start. More on them later. The first couple of exchanges were quite nervy and the crowd really got behind the team which might’ve been just the catalyst that the home side needed. Every pass and every tackle was cheered with great fervor something that was previously unseen at the grounds. A special mention about the stadium itself. The stands look quite stunning with the new colors. A functioning LED screen was an added bonus and it was surprisingly clean although the F&B section could’ve been better organized but it’s a serious upgrade from what was served earlier.

 

Sean Rooney single handedly outdoing Mohun Bagan
Sean Rooney single handedly outdoing Mohun Bagan

There were a couple of corners for each side within the first 20 odd minutes but there was no great threat from either side. The players might’ve been overawed by the reception they got when they walked out as well and they just needed to string a few passes together to calm the nerves. Katsumi Yusa, the number 10 for Mohun Bagan, was quite easily their best player in the opening exchanges and drew a fair amount of stick from the crowd. An early penalty to Mohun Bagan which didn’t look like a foul from where I was sitting, was met with an uproar from the crowd. Not what you want to see in the first quarter of the game. But Pawan Kumar in goal pulled off a stunning save and the evening seemed to be back on track again. Again, I can hardly find the words to describe the reaction of the fans to the penalty save. Unbelievable stuff.  A free-kick was awarded to Bagan around the 25 minute mark and Katsumi stepped up and unleashed a super effort which thudded off the crossbar. The keeper was comprehensively beaten. A collective sigh around the ground. A couple of minutes later, the Indian captain walked out to warm up on the touchline and the crowd went berserk. The scores were level at half time. A very entertaining first half owing largely to the occasion itself.

The second half begun pretty much the same way the previous half had ended. A good move down the flank gave Vishak Kumar enough time and space to setup Sean Rooney. A simple tap in for the Australian. The roar from the crowd must’ve been heard a few miles away. It was phenomenal! The crowd barely settled back in their seats and the nimble footed Keegan Pereira was brought down in the box after a good run down the left flank. Penalty awarded! Rooney immediately grabbed the ball. A confident run up ended up in a miscued shot and a decent save by Sandip Nandy, the Mohun Bagan shot stopper. A few faint cheers from the very few vocal Mohun Bagan supporters in the ground. That was the chance to put the game to bed and coast it. Huge groans from the crowd but it was almost immediately followed up with a huge round of applause for no apparent reason. There was no stopping the fans today. Three letters resonated around the ground. BFC!

On came Chhetri around the hour mark and almost had an instant impact. His controlled volley only barely wide. Yusa, clearly not the crowd favorite, had another fine effort stopped by the woodwork. The Japanese midfielder was clearly their only creative outlet and threat.

There were 6500 people at the stadium according to the announcement but that of course has to be an approximation only. A record turnout. The highest attendance in 25 years apparently.

Robin Singh came on for the last ten minutes and was played out wide. A second yellow card resulted in a sending off for one of the Bengaluru boys, for what seemed like a dive was just the boost the opponents needed. The game was stretched now. We just needed to see out the game.

Right at the death, a corner from the far end of the ground led to the equalizer. Some shocking defending at the back post. Sabeeth headed in almost unchallenged. Extremely poor marking. A late equalizer is always extremely deflating even though this is just the first game of the season. It ended 1-1 after 90 minutes plus stoppage time.

All in all, a very encouraging start to the campaign. I’ve got to reiterate the electric atmosphere which the crowd helped create. The ground was absolutely buzzing. The standout performer for me was John Menyongar in the middle of the park. A very influential player with some silky touches to boot.

I cannot wait for the next home game against Rangdajied United. It could very well be the day we get our first win. Come. Be a part of the revolution and add to the growing fan base. It’s this Sunday at 4.

And of course, cheers to Arsenal’s 3-1 win and United’s 1-4 loss! Haha! Good night! :)

– Nischal Naidu

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Bengaluru FC – My first home team

Nischal is going for the Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan AC match tomorrow. Here are his thoughts on Bengaluru taking part in the I-League and why buying the most expensive ticket for the match is completely worth it. 

The Mumbai based JSW have ensured that football fans in the city get what we have been craving for years! You see, usually no one deserves anything in sport or life. But you know what; football fans in Bengaluru do deserve a slice of full fat goodness after years of frustration of watching other cities have teams and talent in our city go wasted. Sunday is a massive, massive day for all of us. I’ve never seen tickets sell out so quickly at the stadium before! Not even when the VIP stand tickets were as cheap as Rs. 50 a couple of years ago!

Well, we’ve aced the summer and the pre-season by signing the captain of the Indian football team amongst a host of other Indian superstars. The four foreign players are no mugs themselves. Defender Johnson comes from the very physical English league and will have no trouble fitting into the heart of the defense. A couple of promising local youngsters have been signed on as well. Shelton Nickson (U-17), being one of them. Heading into July, the club announced Ashley Westwood as the clubs first head coach. Westwood, a former Manchester United youth player and former Blackburn Rovers assistant manager seems like the perfect fit. Those in the know, have nothing but positive things to say about the Englishman. The squad seems to enjoy training under him. Also, the introduction of the ‘Swear Jar’ is something that has caught the eye.

Though setting up of a local youth academy is pre requisite to play in the premier competition, in the long run, it is extremely good for the youngsters in the city as there are only a few academies setup to serve this purpose. The stadium has got a face lift as well and looks like it will be a top notch venue for football and might be in consideration to host the FIFA U-17 World cup in 2017.

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The pictures were taken from Bengaluru FC’s facebook page.

The host of public appearances made by the team for a variety of reasons has helped in creating this massive buzz around the city. Open training sessions and visits to various hotspots to interact, have helped to establish a lot of hype outside of the social space as well. The support for the club is swelling to unbelievable numbers, judging by the incessant posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter. The club even has a tie up with Bookmyshow so fans can buy their tickets online, which are priced starting from Rs.30, 50, 150, 300 and 450. And Arbor Brewing Company is going to be the home pub for the season, telecasting games and selling merchandise. It’s going to be a kickass scene for football followers to interact and probably get together, support the home team and perhaps play a bit of football!

This is the most excited I’ve been about the I-League! Ever! I’ve been longing for a local team to support and Bengaluru FC is the answer. A revamped stadium, a squad brimming with quality, an experienced coach and thousands of Bengalureans behind them has all the makings to dominate the local scene for the next couple of weeks. This makes shelling out for the most expensive ticket at the Bengaluru stadium worth it. It has been the talk of the town for a few weeks and the excitement is palpable and it all culminates this Sunday at 4. Our time is now! C’mon Bengaluru!!

Match updates – The I-League kicked off today, with three matches taking place. The day saw defending champions, Churchill Brothers SC, lose 0-1 to Salgaocar FC in a Goa derby. Mumbai FC and Sporting Clube de Goa drew 1-1 and Pune FC humiliated Mohammedan Sporting club with a 3-1 win, away from home. That puts Pune on top of the table, but it doesn’t make sense to look at the table already.

We shall wait for tomorrow and see what happens! Until then.

Bengaluru FC, an introduction

Ok this post is for all those of you who follow football but have no clue about the I-League and its new born team, Bengaluru FC! Starting today, I, along with a friend, Nischal Naidu, whom, for covenience we’ll be referring to as Naidu, will be writing previews and reviews of all Bengaluru FC’s games and I’m warning you right now, the posts will be biased. We are fans of Bengaluru FC! Just FYI, Naidu has been playing football for many many years and is also a fellow Gunner. He knows quite a bit about European and Indian football and will be writing opinion columns as well.

But here is the thing, I, personally, have no clue about the team. So during my learning process, I’m going to acquaint all you noobs with namma team. Alright, this is going to take just a few minutes. Let’s start.

 

THE LOGO

First and foremost, recognise your team’s logo. Bengaluru FC

The logo has the outline of the Bangalore Palace and the two headed mythical bird is called the Gandaberunda and is apparently the emblem of Karnataka. You can read more about it here. 

 

THE JERSEY

Shawn Rooney
Sean Rooney

That’s what the jersey looks like. Personally, I’m not too fond of it. Looks a bit tacky to me. I don’t like the way JSW is sprawled across the front. But it hardly matters.

 

WHO OWNS THE TEAM?
JSW Steel Company. As the name suggests, it’s an Indian steel company based in Maharashtra, with its headquarters in Mumbai (du’uh). The company obtained rights to run the team with a three year relegation-freeze, that means Bengaluru FC doesn’t get relegated no matter what for three years (yay!), because JSW is helping out overall football infrastructure in the city in return. The CEO is Parth Jindal, just so you recognise it if his name props up somewhere.

 

WHO IS THE COACH?

Ashley Westwood
Ashley Westwood

Ashley Westwood. He is a former Manchester United youth football graduate and was also an assistant coach at Blackburn (that Venky’s team). He was a defender for as long as he played (15 years) and has managed several others teams apart from Blackburn (Blackpool, Portsmouth, etc).
Pradhyum Reddy is the assistant manager. He previously managed Shillong Lajong and has some experience with players who were on the same team before. That might be a good thing because he has watched the other teams play as well, as opposed to Westwood, who is new to the I-League.

 

THE TEAM

I’m just going to put down names of all players and their positions. The pictures are in the order of the list of players given below. Scroll your mouse over the pictures (second set) to see their names.

The squad
The squad

Pawan Kumar– Goalkeeper. He is an experienced goalkeeper and has played for teams like Air India, Salgaocar and JCT.
John Johnson– English defender who has formerly played with Middlesborough in the English Premier League
Curtis Osano– Kenyan defender who played with Reading from 2005-08
Rino Anto- Defender. He was on the Mohun Bagan squad but doesn’t really have much experience. A relatively new player.
Lalrozama Fanai– Defender. Again he has little experience with Mohun Bagan.
Johnny Menyongar– Liberian midfielder who has played previously for Dempo, United Sikkhim and Shillong Lajong
Malemngamba Meetei– Midfielder. He was part of Bangalore’s previous HAL team.
Thoi Singh– 22-year-old midfielder. Although he has been at Mahindra United, Salgaocar and United Sikkhim, he has had negligible experience.
Siam Hangal- Midfielder. He played for Palian Arrows before. (There is no picture of him.)
Sean Rooney– Australian striker who is here on a one year contract. When this guy was signed, headlines read “Bengaluru FC signs Rooney!” Oh journalism’s cheap tactics to get people to read!
Sunil Chettri– Striker. He has played previously for Mohun Bagan, Dempo, East Bengal, Chirag United and more. He is currently the captain of the Indian National Team
Robin Singh– He is so cute. Oh wait. What? Sorry. He is a striker who, until recently, played for East Bengal, and is likely to be used as a substitute

Also, there is a rule that only four foreigners are allowed to play on a particular team.

 

FORMATION

Formation
I just got this off of Goal.com

Well, hope you learnt some little bit about the team. We play Mohun Bagan on the coming Sunday and we have another home game next week. But we’ll tackle it one at a time. Will write up a preview tomorrow! Or maybe i’ll just write reviews. Let’s see, Whatever works. Good luck for Sunday everyone! Just in case you want to know names of the other teams, check out the league table below. We’re on top at the moment! Yeah!

LEague table

Gooooooooo Bengaluruuuuuuuuuu!!

PS: All posts related to Bengaluru FC will be under the category ‘Bengaluru FC.’ And do follow this blog to be updated about future posts. Don’t worry, I won’t spam you! Thank you for reading!