Hello and welcome to Sportstar's highlights of the Bengaluru FC vs Bashundhara Kings AFC Cup Group stage tie that was played at the Maldives national football stadium.
Bengaluru FC picks up its first point of the AFC Cup campaign as it plays out a goalless draw with Bashundhara Kings. The Blues looked a much better side in the second half and were unlucky to not go ahead when Alan Costa's header struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the line before being saved. Bengaluru had a nervous moment of its own when Gurpreet and Roshan made goal-line saves to deny Robinho early in the second half.
Bashundhara tops Group D with four points from two games but could be dislodged when ATK Mohun Bagan takes on Maziya later this evening. Bengaluru is currently placed third with one point to its name.
Bashundhara Kings goalkeeper Anisur Rahman reflects on the game: "It was a do-or-die game for Bengaluru FC and they played with same intensity in both halves. In the second half there were times when ball hit bar but we defended well and kept the score 0-0."
On the value of the cleansheet, he said: "When there were lot of attacks the whole team tried to defend the goal. That's how we got the cleansheet. Because if we manage a cleansheet then we have a chance in the last match as we can win and qualify for the knockout stages."
FULL-TIME! Bengaluru FC 0 - 0 Bashundhara Kings
90+3' Bengaluru win a late corner but it's a woeful corner from Cleiton. He kicks it straight out for a goal-kick. He ought to have done better considering the situation.
90+2' Leon wins a throw-in and Golui has a chance to launch it long. Change for Bengaluru - Sivasakthi comes on for Suresh.
90' The fourth official has signalled for four minutes to be added on. Enough time for a late winner here?
88' Gurpreet floats a long ball and Cleiton and Chhetri combine well but the offside flag goes up. Bengaluru throwing the proverbial kitchen sink in its quest for a goal.
86' What a chance for Leon! He receives the ball on his right, cuts to his left and goes back to his right but Kazi does really well to track him and block the shot.
85' Danish lets one rip from the edge of the box but his left-footed half-volley sails into the stands.
84' Cleiton's corner is met with a powerful header from Chhetri, but the skipper can't find the target.
82' Fantastic football from Bengaluru. Sarthak plays it to Cleiton on the turn and the Brazilian fires a venemous low strike. The Bashundhara 'keeper dives to his right to keep it out and Chhetri plays the rebound to Ajith, who's strike is blocked. Another corner for Bengaluru!
80' Sarthak's long throw-in presents a chance for Bengaluru. Chhetri has a poke at the ball but it takes a deflection off a defender.
78' Great ball in for Cleiton and he connects well with a strong header on the run but can't keep it on target. Bengaluru's crossing and transition from defence to attack has been exceptional in the second half.
76' Chhetri has a go at goal now. Bengaluru are mounting men forward and are relentless in their attacking press. End to end stuff here.
74' Oh how close was that! Cleiton whips in a delicious cross and Costa's thumping header clatters against the underside of the crossbar, bounces on the goal-line and Anisur Rahman swoops in to clear the danger. The Blues were sure the ball had gone over the line, but it agonisingly bounced on the line.
73' That was a much better corner from Cleiton, who tried to find Costa at the far post, but the Brazilian could not quite get to the ball. Bengaluru looking a lot more threating now.
72' That was close! Cleiton bombs into the box and fires a low cross into the box and the Bashundhara captain Topu Barman manages to knock it out for a corner.
68' Leon makes good use of his pace and drives forward to feed it to Chhetri. The captain throws a step-over and tries to get past his marker but Ghosh clears it away for a corner. Cleiton floats an inswinging corner and it sails comfortably into the 'keeper's gloves.
64' Bengaluru is enjoying more space ahead now and Chhetri, finally, is getting to see more of the ball. The skipper has struggled for service so far.
62' Another substitution for Bengaluru as Leon Augustine replaces Bidyashagar.
61' Double change for Bengaluru: Pratik Chaudhari and Ajith Kumar replace Musavu-King and Roshan.
60' Just wide from Chhetri! Suresh floats in a cross and Chhetri beats his marker in the air to fire a strong header that drifts just wide of the top corner.
58' Bengaluru were looking to replace Roshan with Ajith Kumar, but looks like Roshan's goal-line heroics have earned him some more gametime.
56' How has that not gone in!?! Gurpreet makes a phenomenal save on the goal-line to ensure the scoreboard remains uncnaged. Biplu releases Robinho with a clever ball and the Brazilian fires a low attempt towards the far corner. Gurpeet stretches to keep it out and Roshan, tracking back makes an acrobatic save overhead kick to direct the ball away from the goal. The ball, however, spins towards the goal and Gurpreet dives to his right to keep it out. Th Bengaluru defence had a few heart-in-the-mouth seconds there.
52' Becerra combines really well with Fernandes and races into the box, but his shot on the volley zooms past the crossbar.
51' Fernandes has a go from outside th box and it whizzes past the far post. The Bengaluru defence needs to better to close down the gaps, Fernandes had all the time in the world there.
50' Costa plays a delightful lob across the field for Chhetri, but the Bengaluru skipper handles the ball while trying to control it.
47' This is essentially a must-win game for Bengaluru, which lost its opening game to ATK Mohun Bagan. Bashundhara won its opener against Maziya 2-0 and even a point here will improve its chances of qualifying to the next round.
46'KICK OFF! And the second half gets underway. Khaled is shown a yellow card within 45 seconds of the restart.
HALF-TIME! The first half comes to an end with neither side managing to get on the scoresheet. Bashundhara has had the better chances and looked more promising in attack, but the Blues have been compact at the back. Bengaluru has not been able to do much in attack. The side has created a few half-chances, but hasn't quite been as clinical as it would like to be.
45' A defensive clearance after the free-kick lands on the volley for Bidyashagar. The youngster sticks his right boot at it but can't keep the shot on target. Meanwhile, Pezzaiuoli makes his first change as he takes Parag off for Sarthak Golui.
45' Kazi tugs on Cleiton's shorts and picks up a yellow card. Bengaluru now with a free-kick from a very promising position.
44' Robinho steps up to take the free-kick and launches it into the empty stands. A poor free-kick from the Brazilian.
43' Parag gives away a free-kick on the left as he brings down Kazi.
Correction: Parag was booked for his earlier challenge on Khaled.
41' Parag is lucky to escape a booking here. He catches Khaled in the face with his leg off a rather late and clumsy challenge while vying for an aerial ball. Khaled rolls on the floor clutching his face, but seems to be alright now.
40' Cleiton floats in a good corner, but there aren't enough Bengaluru players attacking it.
39' A lovely give-and-go between Roshan and Chhetri wins Bengaluru a corner! Roshan finds Chhetri on the left channel and the skipper releases Roshan down the flank with a neat backheel. Roshan storms into the box but his cross is cleared.
36' Bengaluru has managed to carve out gaps in the opposition defence every now and then, but has lacked a proper final pass so far.
33' Fernandes with a scorcher from distance! He slices the ball and it swerves towards the top corner, but Gurpreet does well to glove it away.
31' Patient build-up play from Bashundhara. The Bangladesh side is holding on to the ball and stitching together passes aplenty. Bengaluru has been left to chase the ball for a while now.
28' Bidyashagar has looked really good on the right today for Bengaluru. The 23-year-old, who joined Bengaluru from I-League side TRAU, has looked promising down the flank.
25' Fine ball from Chhetri! He cuts into the right and drills a low cross into the box for Jayesh. The latter cannot get to it and neither can the overlapping Cleiton.
24' Musavu King's glancing header is easily saved by Bashundhara 'keeper Anisur Rahman Zico. That's the first save he's had to make today.
22' Robinho's free-kick clatters into the wall and that chance slips way.
21' Robinho wins a free-kick after a mesmerising run. He gets past Costa, cuts past Paraga and was making room for a shot before Musavu King brought him down. Musavu King goes into the book and Bashundhara have a free-kick from a very promising position.
21' Roshan plays a great lob down the field for Cleiton. The Brazilian's first touch is poor but he manages to control the ball and involve a team-mate, before being crowded out by the Bashundhara defence.
17' Free-kick at the edge of the box for Bashundhara! Danish trips Barman a mere inch outside the box. Robinho's pass across the goal, a move from the training ground, doesn't lead to much.
15' An evenly contested opening quarter of play. Bashundhara has had the better of chances so far, while Bengaluru is yet to create a clear scoring opportunity.
12' The Bengaluru defence, led by Musavu King, will have to be particularly wary of this Bashundahra attack. The Bangaldeshi side has scored a whopping 67 goals in all competitions this season.
10' Jonathan Fernandes whips a delightful outside-of-the-boot lob for his countryman Robinho, but the latter is in an offside position.
6' Good work from Bidyashagar and Jayesh! Bidyashagar, replacing Udanta Singh, makes a fine run and lobs it to Jayesh on the right. Jayesh chests the ball down and lets one rip but his shot take a deflection off the Bashundhara captain.
3' Bashundhara striker Robinho, playing down the left, shows glimpses of what he's capable of. He played a key pass in the chance a minute ago and now crafts a lovely ball into the box. Bengaluru 'keeper Gurpreet, though, was untroubled on both ocassions.
1' KICK OFF!
4:29pm: Bengaluru FC, led by Sunil Chhetri, turns up in its traditional blue jersey while Bashundhara dons its red kit.
4:27pm: Bengaluru coach Marco Pezzaiuoli makes three changes as Danish Farooq, Parag Shrivas and Bidyashagar Singh make it to the starting XI. No changes in the Bashundhara XI.
Match Preview -
Bengaluru FC will look to pick up the first points of its AFC Cup campaign when it takes on Bangladesh Premier League champion Bashundhara Kings in their penultimate Group D clash on Saturday.
The Blues lost 2-0 to ATK Mohun Bagan in their opening game while Bashundhara beat Maziya S&RC by the same scoreline.
Bengaluru coach Marco Pezzaiuoli said the Bangladeshi side was a force to reckon with, having made light work of its League campaign, which it secured with four games left to play. Bashundhara, which made its AFC Cup debut last season in a campaign that was cut short due to the COVID19 pandemic, retained the 2020-21 Bangladesh Federation Cup in January.
“We're up against a team from Bangladesh that scored 55 goals in the League and are champions. They conceded only nine goals in the League, and won their first group game 2-0. They score a lot of goals and have a strong defence, are compact at the back and counter very well. We might have to change things a little bit because this is our third game. Our plan will be to maybe go backwards a bit and create space behind them to score goals and create chances,” said Pezzaiuoli.
Pezzaiuoli handed starts to Ajay Chhetri and Naorem Roshan Singh in the clash against ATK Mohun Bagan, while Leon Augustine, Parag Shrivas and Ajith Kumar came off the bench in addition to summer signings Bidyashagar Singh and Danish Farooq.
“I choose to take the positives from the previous game where we had almost 70 percent ball possession against ATK Mohun Bagan. I think we only need to improve in certain aspects. There is no pressure. Football is not about pressure. We enjoy the games, and I am sure every team wants to be the number one in the Group. We have worked hard in training, and focused on certain things. We want to better our free-kicks and corners, and create better chances and finish them,” Pezzaiuoli added.
Having made several new foreign signings in Raul Becerra, Jonathan Fernandes, Khaled Shafiei and Robinho (on loan from Fluminense), the Blues will have to be wary of Bashundhara's attack, with the BPL side scoring as many as 67 goals in all competitions this season.
The match will begin at the National Stadium in Male at 4.30 pm IST.
The ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC match will kick-off at 4.30 PM IST.
- Champions League 2023-24: PSG game ‘defining moment’ in Newcastle’s season, says manager Howe
- Champions League 2023-24: Saudi-backed Newcastle faces Champions League reality check
- Sabalenka to play Brisbane in warm-up for Australian Open defence
- Australia captain Kerr to miss Canada friendlies
- Venue renamed ‘Christine Sinclair Place’ for Canada football great’s final game