Friday, February 23, 2018

Edu Garcia move to China League One side on transfer, Rahul Bheke get his contract extended by three years

Bengaluru FC Media

Winger Garcia is all set to be transferred from Bengaluru FC to Zhejiang Lǜchéng and defender Rahul Bheke handed over three-year contract just in a day’s gap. 

Bengaluru FC have reached an agreement with Chinese League One side Zhejiang Lǜchéng for the transfer of Spanish winger Edu Garcia for an undisclosed fee, the club announced on Friday. The deal makes Bengaluru FC the first Indian club to earn a fee from a foreign club for the transfer of a player. 

Garcia was signed on a season-long deal in September and the former Zaragoza man was an instant hit, scoring the Blues’ first ever goal in the Indian Super League in the 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the Kanteerava. The second of his two goals for the club came earlier this month against Goa, once again at the Fortress. Always dangerous with his set-piece deliveries, Garcia also racked up five assists for Albert Roca’s side. 

Meanwhile, the club announced on Thursday that Rahul Bheke’s extended contract will continue till May 2021. The 27-year-old has been a vital cog in Bengaluru’s season so far, and the extension reaffirms the club’s commitment towards holding on to its best talent. 

A consistent figure in the Bengaluru back-line, The Mumbai-born defender has played twenty times for the Blues this season, making 19 starts and scoring two goals, both in the AFC Cup. 

At Lǜchéng, Garcia will team up with Spanish coach Sergi Barjuan for the club which plays at the Yellow Dragon Sports Center in Hangzhou. The League One season kicks off on March 10. 

Coach Albert Roca thanked the winger for his efforts that have played its part in Bengaluru’s surge to the semifinal of the ISL. “Edu has been a thorough professional during his time at the club and he was presented an opportunity that seemed right to say yes to. His contribution to our season so far has been very valuable and I wish him the best.”


Thursday, February 22, 2018

[BDFA League] BFC Reserves go down 0-1 to Ozone

Bengaluru FC Media 

Ten-man Bengaluru FC ‘B’ suffered their second defeat of the campaign going down 0-1 to Ozone FC in their seventh game of the BDFA Super Division League at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Thursday.

In the first half that lacked real chances, a freak goal from Anup Theresraj handed Ozone all three points. The attacker chased down a long ball from Anto Xavier on the right flank, and managed to somehow connect with it on the slide just ahead of BFC ‘B’ custodian Shainkhan C. who had rushed out to punch it away. The effort was on target and the ball rolled in into an empty net to put Ozone up 1-0 in the 42nd minute. Meanwhile, the Blues had shout for a penalty turned away early in the half after Leon Augustine was brought down inside the box.

The second half saw Coach Naushad Moosa make a double change brining in Robinson Singh and Bidyananda Singh to add more creativity in attack. While the Blues began pushing up, left-back Parag Shrivas was shown a straight red for a high-foot challenge on an opponent reducing BFC ‘B’ to ten-men in the 57th minute.

The Blues continued to push forward in search of the equalizer, but Ozone capitalized on their one-man advantage to hold on to their narrow lead and seal a win. The result meant that BFC ‘B’ stay second in the standings with 13 points from seven games as Ozone clinched the title with 30 points.



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Santosh Trophy finals in Kolkata, Karnataka start their campaign on March 22 against Goa

Defending champions West Bengal will take on Manipur on the opening day as the 72nd edition of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy kicks-off in Kolkata on March 19, 2018. 

Ten teams who qualified from the preliminary stages have been divided into two groups of five teams each with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals which are to be played on March 30, 2018. The final is slated for April 1, 2018.


Groupings 

Group A: West Bengal, Chandigarh, Manipur, Kerala, Maharashtra
Group B: Goa, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Karnataka


Fixtures 

GROUP A
  • 19/03/2018 – Chandigarh vs Kerala
  • 19/03/2018 – Manipur vs Bengal
  • 21/03/2018 – Maharashtra vs Bengal
  • 21/03/2018 – Chandigarh vs Manipur
  • 23/03/2018 – Kerala vs Manipur
  • 23/03/2018 – Maharashtra vs Chandigarh
  • 25/03/2018 – Bengal vs Chandigarh
  • 25/03/2018 – Kerala vs Maharashtra
  • 27/03/2018 – Manipur vs Maharashtra
  • 27/03/2018 – Bengal vs Kerala

GROUP B
  • 20/03/2018 – Odisha vs Punjab
  • 20/03/2018 – Mizoram vs Goa
  • 22/03/2018 – Karnataka vs Goa
  • 22/03/2018 – Odisha vs Mizoram
  • 24/03/2018 – Punjab vs Mizoram
  • 24/03/2018 – Karnataka vs Odisha
  • 26/03/2018 – Goa vs Odisha
  • 26/03/2018 – Punjab vs Karnataka
  • 28/03/2018 – Mizoram vs Karnataka
  • 28/03/2018 – Goa vs Punjab
SF

  • 30/03/2018 – Winner Group A vs Runners-Up Group B
  • 30/03/2018 – Winner Group B vs Runners-Up Group A
FINAL 
  • 01/04/2018 – Winner Semi-Final 1 vs Winner Semi-Final 2


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ozone placed in Group B in 18-team Second Div I-League

Eighteen teams comprising of seven ISL clubs’ reserve teams (Except ATK, Northeast United FC, Mumbai City FC) who will compete in the preliminary round are divided into three groups. The Preliminary round which will kick-off on March 16, 2018 will continue until May 15, 2018. Teams will play on a home and away basis within the group.

The AIFF League Committee met at the AIFF Football House yesterday and took some vital decisions on the forthcoming Second Division League 2017-18 including the number of teams, the format of the tournament and the schedule. 

The winners of each group plus the best second-placed team would qualify for the final round. However, if reserve teams of ISL clubs finish as winners or runners-up in any group, the position will be passed on to the next non-ISL team. 

Four teams will play at the central venue on a ‘single-leg’ league system which will run from May 21, 2018 to May 27, 2018 at the end which the winners would be promoted to the next tier of Indian Football.

Each club can register maximum 3 foreign players for the 2nd division league out of which one player has to be a national of an AFC Member Association. 

The Groups of the preliminary round are as mentioned below:
  • Group A: Real Kashmir, Lonestar Kashmir, Delhi Dynamos FC (reserves), Hindustan FC, Delhi United, FC Pune City (reserves)
  • Group B: Madhya Bharat SC, FC Goa (reserves), Kerala Blasters (reserves), Ozone FA, Fateh Hyderabad AFC, FC Kerala
  • Group C: TRAU FC, Langsning FC, Mohammedan Sporting, JSW Bengaluru FC (reserves), Jamshedpur FC (reserves), Chennaiyin FC (reserves)  


Monday, February 19, 2018

Bengaluru look to seal AFC Cup berth

Bengaluru FC Media

Armed with the advantage of three away goals, Bengaluru FC will look to seal qualification in the group stages of the AFC Cup when they take on Maldivian side TC Sports Club at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Tuesday evening.

A Thongkhosiem Haokip brace and Erik Paartalu’s goal gave Albert Roca a 3-2 win in Male last week after the Spaniard saw his side allow TC to come back from two goals down to level things in what was a strange second half.

The visitors need to win by either a two-goal margin or win scoring more than three goals at the Fortress if they are to edge Bengaluru out and Roca, while sounding confident, warned his side against complacency. “This tie is far from over. Yes, we’ve scored three away goals but we’ve also conceded two and I don’t see why they won’t take the game to us on Tuesday. That said, we are always confident of our abilities and more so at home. We need to focus and get the job done,” said Roca.

Bengaluru seemed to be cruising with two quick second-half goals at the National Stadium when lapses in defence saw the hosts hit back through Anatolii Vlasichev and Ibrahim Mahudhee. But a Haokip screamer in the 78th minute killed the fight from TC in what were difficult conditions. “We had a tough time coping with the weather and pitch conditions in Maldives. Thankfully we have the chance to get the job done at home and we need to make most of the familiar conditions.”

The win came at the cost of an injury to defender Harmanjot Khabra who had to be substituted after he picked up a hit to his chest. The No.10 missed out on the ISL fixture against FC Pune City and won’t be available for selection on Tuesday as he continues to recover.  

Roca chose to rest names like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Juanan Gonzalez, Dimas Delgado and Lenny Rodrigues and whether the Spaniard hands them a role in the fixture at home, remains to be seen. “I am happy with the way the youngsters on the team have responded to responsibility and they surely need more game time. I will leave the decision late on whether or not I include players who didn’t travel to the Maldives, on the squad for Tuesday,” said Roca.

Group E, as it stands, has three slots filled with Abahani (Bangladesh), Aizawl FC and New Radiant (Maldives) booking their place in the continental competition.