Bengaluru FC lifts ISL title after Rahul Bheke winner - As it happened

The Indian Super League is set to have a new champion this season. Bengaluru FC takes on FC Goa in the 2019 final at the Mumbai Football arena. Follow the blog for LIVE scores and updates.

Sunil Chhetri bengaluru fc vs fc goa ISL 2019 FINAL

Sunil Chhetri shapes to shoot during the ISL final against FC Goa.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE coverage of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 final between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa.

 

Read Shyam Vasudevan's match report on the night Bengaluru FC lifted its maiden ISL title.

Ferran Corominas, who had a quiet game tonight, doesn't end the season empty-handed for the second season in a row.

Paartalu, who missed the final due to injury, says, "Honestly, it was horrible to watch from the stands. I am not a good watcher. The boys had to gold in there and grind a result. They held the line well and the defence played a magical game. Rahul bheke, what can we say? He scores big goals in big games!"

"It's incredible!" says Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet. I want to thank the fans at this moment. Goa is an incredible team, who made it tough for us. It's unfortunate they had to lose. Even if it went to penalties, I was sure I would have made a couple of saves. Credit to Rahul. Bombay boy scoring in Mumbai!"

Chhetri climbs on top of Gurpreet and screams, "We feel top of the world! 2017-18 we lost the league, we have won the league after one year! COME ON BFC!"

Losing captain Mandar Dessai, "We started really well, we pushed hard The red card changed it in the second half. Everyone is sad right now. We have been doing really well throughout the season. It was bad luck I guess."

Dimas Delgado now, "Speechless right now. A lot of people following us, so we fought for them as well. No words to describe this feeling. Really tough game with Goa playing a very good game. We believe we can keep fighting so happy to do this."

Miku, who missed a chance in regular time, is an elated man. He says, "We won the league way off the second so I am happy to win the final this time. I have played three tournaments, two finals, one super Cup: I have won two tournaments. Incredible! We worked to our plan, with everybody doing their job."

120 + 2' The final whistle is blown! Bengaluru FC lifts its first ISL title! Celebrations in the Blues camp after the anguish of the loss in the final last season.

120' Two minutes of added time. A decision goes against Goa and Bedia and Corominas lose their heads.

117' GOAAAAL ! RAHUL BHEKE (BHEKEN-BAUER!!!!!) heads the ball into the top-corner! Xisco's corner from the right is looped into the right corner of the goal by the defender. He is making a quite a reputation for being a goal-scoring defender. 

117' What a night the young Saviour Gama is having! He makes a good block yet again. Corner kick.

114' Miku flicks the ball in the air before taking a shot on the turn. Naveen dives low to catch the ball!

113' Attacking changes from BFC. Boithang Haokip and Kean Lewis come on for Udanta and Nishu Kumar.

Erik Paartalu looks on from the stands. He would really like the winner's medal around his neck.

Tense... Really tense out there on the pitch...

110' 19th substitute appearance for Manvir Singh. He comes on for Jackichand.

109' A glancing defensive header away from goal by Pena before Goa breathe easy following a handball from a Bengaluru player.

106' 15 minutes separates the teams from finding a goal and the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

2nd extra-time

Any how...

Apparently, players lose their heads in this fixture for some reason. This is the fifth red card in as many meetings between the two sides.

That's the end of the first extra-time period. Jahouh would be feeling really silly right now. There were just seconds left on the clock for the whistle.

106' Jahouh will be lucky to stay on here. He catches Miku in his abdomen after going down. No, he isn't lucky. RED CARD for Jahouh! A second yellow in fact! Miku is booked too for the altercation.

105' SAVE! Xisco cuts his shot from distance, Naveen does well to cover the angle of the shot and make the save low to his right.

104' The free-kick is swung in dangerously into the box and Gurpreet goes low to catch it.

104' More yellow cards. Bheke is booked for an off the ball challenge on Corominas. Clumsy foul.

The game is more of a scrappy affair now.  Maybe the managers could freshen things up some changes.

101' Luisma involved in his own box this time, where he nearly heads the ball dangerously for a corner but Gurpreet does well to latch on to the ball. His header could have gone anywhere.

100' Foul called on Luisma for a raised foot on Jahouh.

97' Fall's knee catches Miku in the back. Remember he was booked already in the match for a foul on the same man. Referee says 'one more foul and you are off!'.

The commentator says 'it's the survival of the fittest' and it might just be!

92' Seriton sticks his leg out and brings down Dimas. The right-back gets his first booking of the match.

 

91' We are off again. Still just a change for both sides.

1st extra-time

The players re-group after a brief team talk with their respective team managements.

My dinner must wait. I will be bringing you the next 30 minutes, too. Don't go anywhere.

90' + 3' Goa break from the corner and Dimas does the dirty work at the back by clearing Jackichand's cross out from danger. That's the last spell of play in the ninety minutes and the referee calls for full-time!

90' + 2' Fall, you hero! Udanta finds Miku with a cross on the face of the goal but Fall flies into block the striker's shot on goal!

90' Looks like the teams are content playing out for the full-time whistle.

FC Goa fans with a thunderous support for the team in the final stages of the game.

Still just one change from both sides.

85' Jahouh tries a Manzi!? He tries to catch out Gurpreet from over 60-yards but the ball goes horribly wide. 

84' Jackichand is flagged offside after being played through on goal. Replay shows the winger was in line when the ball was played.

You would have expected Miku to bury that chance... That would have knocked the wind out of Goa's sails with less than 10 minutes to go in the contest.

81' Hits the post! Xisco finds Miku with a deft touch, who toe-pokes the ball into the net from close range!

79' Could have been costly that! Gurpreet spills the ball trying to pluck the ball from the air. Luckily for him, Coro wasn't alert enough to the opportunity.

75' Luisma pleads innocence with the referee after clipping the heels of Corominas.

Goals scored after the 75th minute this season. Bengaluru (10) and Goa (11)

71' Clash of heads between Chhetri and Jahouh. The Bengaluru skipper goes down. He is up on his feet now.

69' First change for Bengaluru: Luisma comes on for Berrera.

67' Good play by Jackichand before he lays it off for Jahouh, whose side-footed shot is collected well by Gurpreet.

65' Goa has grown into the game and is dominating possession at the moment.

Dimas has been quite lucky this season to get away with some off the ball challenges. He is not so lucky this time.

62' Dimas with a clumsy challenge on Edu Bedia, who covers his face in anguish. Dimas becomes the first Bengaluru player to be booked on the evening.

58' Jackichand is played through on goal by Coro but his shot is straight at Gurpreet. First real save for the Bengaluru custodian.

57' Nishu swings in a cross from the left and Miku blazes his shot over from inside the box. He is not pleased with his effort.

55' Udanta skips past his marker and fires a low cross into the box, but Fall clears the ball over from the six-yard area. Dangerous position from Goa.

51' Bedia finds Fall from a free-kick from over 30-yards but the header flies wide.

Saviour Gama made his ISL debut against Chennaiyin in their final league match of the season and won the emerging player of the match. The Goan was part of the club's reserve team.

47' Jahouh is booked for a foul on Xisco. Free-kick in range for Bengaluru outside Goa's box.

46' We are underway in the second half. Will we see a winner in the next 45 minutes of play?

Second half

Half-time statistics from the ISL final.

 

Nita Ambani, chairperson and founder of FSDL, is giving a pitch-side interview during the break. She is proud about the fact that Indian players have scored 88 goals this season — the most in five seasons of the ISL.

 

45 + 2' Bedia fails to find Serriton on the run in the right flank and that's the end of the first half. It's been a tight opening 45-minute period with some good chances for Bengaluru. Goa and Lobera will be pleased they haven't gone a goal behind in the half.

Two minutes of added time.

44' Mandar goes down again. That should be the end of his final. He passes the captain's arm-band to Edu Bedia as he is stretchered off. Saviour Gama, 21-year-old full-back replaces Mandar.

42' Mandar's left thigh is taped up and he looks okay to continue. Udanta will be keen to test him out on his next burst on the wings.

41' A great passage of slick passing play from the left comes to an end after Mandar pulls up with a hamstring pull on his run.  The Goan skipper's final may be tragically cut short here...

39' Fall takes out Miku from the back in the next passage of play and the Senegal defender becomes the first player to be booked in the final.

37' Juanan cleans out Corominas with a kick before taking the ball just outside the Bengaluru area. Referee doesn't deem it to be a foul. Lucky escape for the Blues and Juanan.

36' Corominas, who was trying to get down the end of Bedia's ball, is brought down by Khabra just outside the box. But the linesman flags Coro offside.

34' Naveen collects the ball from Xisco's cross and takes it out of play. No corner kick given. The linesman has missed that...

Bengaluru has had the better of chances in the opening 30-plus minutes. The Blues have found a way inside the Goan box from the flanks and through the middle.

31' Nishu Kumar's cross from the left finds Udanta inside the box. The winger goes for the shot from an improbable angle which flies wide. Cuadrat is frustrated with that and lets the player know from the touchline.

30' Edu Bedia brings down Miku and the referee calls a foul. BFC fans aren't pleased at all. No bookings so far in this final.

28' Action at the other end now! Jahouh's shot is blocked first but the rebound falls for Brandon, whose shot narrowly goes wide of the far post!

27' Udanta finds Miku with a snap-shot, who rounds the keeper before trying a rabonna into the middle of the box. Goan defenders frantically clear the ball out of danger.

23' Goa loses the ball in midfield which allows Chhetri to pick a cross out into the box free from the left wing. Miku's header is just over the bar!

22' Bengaluru has scored 7 goals from set-pieces but the delivery from this one finds no player in blue.

22' Communication error at the back for Goa which leads to Naveen having to punch the ball behind for a corner.

19' Udanta was cleaned out from behind by Jahouh but referee says no foul.  Replays show the Goan didn't get the ball.

I stand corrected on the stadium being sold sout. Despite the capacity being just over 8,000, I could spot many empty seats. Bizarre.

Loud "GOA! BFC!" chants from the respective supporters inside the venue.

14' What a switch of play from Goa! Jahouh finds Jackichand on the right with a diagonal pass, who crosses it for Coro inside the box. Coro, uncharacteristically, catches it all wrong on the volley.

Most goals scored from crosses in ISL 2018-19: 16 (Goa)

10' Bengaluru's Barrera and Xisco are involved in a scrap with Goa's Jahouh in midfield. Goa wins a free-kick after Xisco's kick on Jahouh. The resulting free-kick goes out for a corner.

Goa has the most number of first half goals this season: 18

6' Miku! The Venezuelan striker receives a pass from Chhetri and skips past Goan defenders with ease into the box before the 'keeper Naveen runs out from his line to stop the striker from taking a shot!

5' Bedia's strike from the corner is off target.

4' Fall with a defence -splitting pass for Jackichand, whose cross hits Nishu and goes behind for the first corner of the match.

2' A training ground routine throw in play ends with Chhetri's wayward strike.

1' Miku kicks things off for Bengaluru, who attacks from right to left.

The venue is predominantly packed with Goan fans. Both teams have lost their previous ISL finals. It's could be yet another heart-break for one set of supporters at the end of the evening...

 

The captains, Chhetri and Mandar, are done with the coin toss. Kick-off up next.

First half

7.24 pm: Just over five minutes until kick-off now. The stands are full and the teams walk out for the national anthem.

BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri speaks: "That means nothing for today (past record against Goa). They are a very, very good side. I don't think the past performances hold any meaning today. This is the first time we are playing against each other in a neutral venue. I like playing in this ground. I hope we can win the trophy night." Here's his quotes in full.

Have your say

 

6.52 pm: What an import Corominas has been to FC Goa and Indian football. In two seasons, he has become the league's top-scorer with 34 goals and will most likely take home the golden boot for the second successive season. Corominas has one hat-trick against the Blues in his very first appearance against them in the 2017-18 season. He has, however, failed to score against them in the last three meetings.

6.47 pm: Interestingly, Lobera opts for Bedia ahead of the Moroccan Boumous. Both players are really skilled attacking midfielders mind you. Bedia has seven goals and five assists in 19 matches, while Boumous has three goals and set up five.

Here are the team line-ups

Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Rahul Bheke, Juanan, Harmanjot Khabra, Nishu Kumar; Dimas Delgado, Xisco Hernandez, Udanta Singh, Alejandro Garcia Barrera, Sunil Chhetri (C), Miku.

FC Goa: Naveen Kumar; Seriton Fernandes, Carlos Peña, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Dessai; Ahmed Jahouh, Lenny Rodrigues; Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Jackichand Singh; Ferran Corominas

 

6.33 pm: We are just moments away before the starting XIs are confirmed.

6.32 pm: One interesting sub-plot among these match-ups will be the one on the touchline between Carles Cuadrat of Bengaluru and Sergio Lobera of Goa. Both managers' football alma mater comes from FC Barcelona's fabled youth academy and they have brought that style to Indian football. Here, both the Spaniards talk about their friendship, their rivalry and the ISL final.

Miku vs Corominas, Chhetri vs Boumou, Udanta vs Brandon, Dimas vs Edu Bedia. These are just some of the contests to name a few.

6.22 pm: Although, Bengaluru appears to hold the edge over the Gaurs, it will be a close contest to call and personally, I can not wait for the match-ups in the line-ups.

On this day in 2018, Bengaluru lost a close final against Chennaiyin FC at its home venue. The Blues will need no reminder of that and will be keen to re-write history the second time around.

6.11 pm: Incidentally, Bengaluru's first defeat of the season came at the same venue against Mumbai City FC after starting the campaign undefeated for 11 matches. Goa will have fond memories of this venue after thumping Mumbai City 2-0 and 5-1 in the league stages and playoffs, respectively.

6.04 pm: Speaking of Mumbai Football Arena, it seems like a rather odd decision to hold a high stakes game in a low-capacity venue. Our reporter Shyam Vasudevan reports from Mumbai on the same (READ).

6.00 pm: The tournament organisers could not have asked for a better final! Bengaluru and Goa, two of the most exciting teams will take center stage in Mumbai at the Mumbai Football Arena.

This is Aashin Prasad and I will take you through for the next four hours or possibly more of the fifth final of the Indian Super League.

 

BENAGLURU FC vs FC Goa

Preview

The stage is set for a new champion to emerge. The Indian Super League 2018-19 will witness a “battle of equals” when Bengaluru FC locks horns with FC Goa in the title clash at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

There's a lot in common between the two finalists – both finished with the same number of points in the league stage, both have the exact same number of wins, losses and draws, and both are in their second ISL final. Interestingly, both teams lost to Chennaiyin FC in their respective finals.  Another factor that unites the two clubs is that they are both marshalled by Spanish coaches who are gunning for their first ISL title.

Despite the numerous similarities, there's one major difference – their style of play. While Sergio Lobera's FC Goa focusses on possession and a wing-dominated attacking game, Carles Cuadrat has adopted a fairly easy-on-the-eye approach that is majorly constructed in midfield.

That Bengaluru FC cruised to comfortable wins against FC Goa in both their league encounters this season makes it a seeming favourite, but Cuadrat feels statistics matter little when it comes to a final.

“I don't see our team as being favourites. There are a lot of factors involved in finals, and both these teams have arrived with very similar numbers. I don't think the previous games or the results should give us confidence because this is a final and it is a completely different situation,” the Spaniard said in the pre-match conference.

The 50-year-old continued that both teams had no dearth in talent: “I think both teams are favourites for this title because both teams have quality players and play good football. Both teams have a lot of quality in midfield."

"The battle will be about possession and about how dangerous the top strikers, that both teams have, can be. They have (Ferran) Corominas, we have Miku. They have Brandon (Fernandes) and Jackichand (Singh), we have Sunil (Chhetri) and Miku. It's going to be an exciting clash.”

100

Both Carles Cuadrat's and Sergio Lobera's careers were shaped during their time at FC Barcelona.   -  ISL SPORTZPICS

 

Bengaluru hasn't been as prolific in front of goal as compared to last season, scoring 29 goals — five fewer than last season. The side has often left it late, with the second leg semifinal tie against NorthEast United FC a prime case.

Cuadrat looks to amend that come Sunday: “I am aware that we haven't been scoring goals too early, but I can assure you that the plan is to score in the first minute.” Incidentally, Bengaluru has lost only one game all season after opening the scoring.

Bengaluru's hold over Goa

Lobera is still smarting from the losses to Bengaluru but feels those results will cease to matter going into the final. “Whatever happened in the past stays in the past. The final will be a completely different game. It is true that Bengaluru won both games against us and you can say they are the favourites. However, we have come here with the intention of winning the final,” he said.

He added that there will be multiple individual battles that could potentially decide the game, but there are other factors to be considered too. “There sure will be a lot of individual battles to look out for. But tomorrow who will take the trophy is the team which is best on the pitch. I think tomorrow's (Sunday's) tactics will be important. But there will be other factors like motivational, psychological factors that will (also) come into play. It depends on how players can take these factors in (their) stride,” he said.

Both Lobera's and Cuadrat's careers were shaped during their time at Barcelona, but Lobera feels the two sides play altering styles of football. “I don't agree when people say Bengaluru and Goa play a similar style of football. Both coaches have come from Barcelona. We (Goa) always try to play attacking football with ball possession. That's what I have been focussing during my time in FC Goa,” he said.

With their different styles of football, the two Spanish coaches at the helm will accordingly chart out a winning formula and deploy their forces in the pursuit of a maiden ISL title. While Lobera will hope ISL's leading goal-getter Ferran Corominas can break his duck against Bengaluru, Cuadrat would want Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to hold fort between the sticks and steer his side to a much-awaited title.