Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bengaluru take on FC Goa in Durand Cup semifinal

Bengaluru FC Media

Bengaluru FC Coach Naushad Moosa said his young side is confident of putting in a good performance when they take on FC Goa in the Durand Cup semifinal, at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Wednesday.

“The players do not have any pressure going into this game as they fully understand their roles and responsibilities now. FC Goa came here with a full squad, and it was the same with Kerala Blasters too. We know how good Goa is as a team. It won’t be an easy game, but we’ll step onto the pitch with the objective of making things difficult for them. The boys are really positive, and I just want them to play freely, express themselves and fight till the end,” said Moosa, speaking to the press ahead of the semifinal.

FC Goa come into the game winning all their group stage matches before defeating Delhi FC 5-1 in the quarterfinals. With 14 goals scored and just two conceded, Goa’s attacking and defensive prowess are a force to be reckoned with, and Moosa believes his side will have to be on top of their game if they are to come away with a positive result.

“Our approach to the game will not be very different from the way we have been playing so far. The only thing we have to be very careful about is the way we have been conceding first. While we have shown good character to fight back and win, it will not be easy to do that against Goa if we concede early,” Moosa added.

While the game is set for an evening kickoff, making it easier for the teams to play, Moosa believes that it serves as an even advantage. “In terms of humidity and heat, the 6 pm kickoff will really help the players. We played our games at 3 pm and then 2 pm so far, and it was difficult for the boys to adapt. You can see how the evening game allowed Mohammedan SC and FC Bengaluru United to play more freely in the other semifinal. While it will help us, I am sure it’s the same for Goa. The conditions are favourable for both teams to play with a good tempo, and it should be a good match,” said Moosa.

Kickoff between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa is at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 29th, and will be live on Ten Sports, and the AddaTimes website and app. The winner in this encounter will face Mohammedan in the final.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Bengaluru FC come from behind to make Durand Cup semifinals

Bengaluru FC Media 

Bengaluru FC came from behind yet again to defeat Army Green 3-2 in their Durand Cup quarterfinal, at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, on Saturday. Lallawmkima PC (9’) gave the away side the lead in the first half, before goals from Wungngayam Muirang (20’), Leon Augustine (46’) and Namgyal Bhutia (74’) put the Blues ahead. Vibin TV (89’) pulled one back at the end, but Bengaluru held on to win the game.

Earlier, Naushad Moosa made one change to the team that beat Indian Navy 5-3, with Leon replacing Bidyashagar Singh in the attack. The Blues started the game on the front foot and had the first chance of the game when Leon skipped past his marker and sent Sivasakthi Narayanan through on goal, but Army Green goalkeeper Sarath Narayanan was quick to come off his line and block his shot. Minutes later, the services side took the lead at the other end, when Lallawmkima scored from the spot after he was brought down by Ajith Kumar in the box.

Leon found himself free down the right and cut into the box in the 15th minute to find Harmanpreet Singh, who took a couple of touches to make space for himself but shot straight at ’keeper Sarath. Bengaluru got back on level terms soon after, when Leon won a free kick on the right flank. Muirang’s effort beat the wall and the ’keeper, to make it 1-1.

Buoyed by the equaliser, the Blues began to make frequent inroads into the final third, starting with Damaitphang Lyngdoh’s curling effort from the edge of the box that needed Sarath at full stretch to keep the scores level. 

In the 37th minute, Parag Shrivas intercepted a pass and sparked a counter-attack by setting Leon free, who saw the ’keeper come off his line and took a shot that went wide. Minutes later, the 22-year-old initiated another counter after winning the ball in the middle of the pitch. He sent Sivasakthi free down the right and the youngster found Biswa Darjee in the middle, but the midfielder’s touch was too heavy and Sarath was quick to come out and collect the ball.

It took less than a minute into the second half for the Blues to complete the comeback. Leon, who had sparked the comeback against Indian Navy on Tuesday, escaped his markers and, with the ’keeper charging forward, chipped the ball into an empty net to make it 2-1. Less than a minute later, he almost had another goal in a similar fashion but his effort went just wide of the goal this time.

Army Green forward Dip Majumder had two chances in the space of a minute to get his side back on level terms. First, Naorem Roshan Singh timed his sliding challenge well to make a block in the box and later Lara Sharma went low to make a save on the line.

The Blues got their third goal of the game when Biswa found substitute Bhutia in the box, and the forward shot low into the far corner to put Bengaluru 3-1 up. Akashdeep Singh, who had an earlier effort blocked by Sarath, saw his shot deflect off the ’keeper and bounce off the far post. Army Green won another penalty a minute before stoppage time after Robin Yadav brought down Lallawmkima and Vibin TV sent Lara the wrong way to make it 3-2.

The Blues held on to their lead to win the game and seal their spot in the semifinals, where they face FC Goa, on September 29, at the same venue.


Friday, September 24, 2021

Bengaluru, Army Green clash in Durand Cup quarterfinal

Bengaluru FC Media

Bengaluru FC Coach Naushad Moosa said that his side were focused on tackling each game at a time, ahead of their quarterfinal clash against Army Green, set to take place at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Saturday. The Blues, who booked their spot in the knockouts by virtue of topping Group C, face Army Green, who finished second in Group B.

“The final group game against the Indian Navy was a good learning experience for the boys. We allowed the opposition to bring the game to us in the first half, and that gave them a two-goal lead and I told my team during the break that they had to pull together as a unit and work hard. They responded well to turn things around in the second period,” said Moosa, speaking to the press ahead of the fixture.

Bengaluru began their campaign with a 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters, which was followed by a 2-2 draw against Delhi FC. The win over Indian Navy on Tuesday allowed Moosa’s side to finish the Group unbeaten, with seven points from three games. Army Green, meanwhile, lost 2-0 to FC Goa in their opener, before wins over Jamshedpur FC (3-1) and Sudeva Delhi FC (1-0).

Bengaluru have goalscorers across the pitch, with seven players within Moosa’s squad finding the net in the group stages, scoring nine goals among them. “It’s good that we have had several players finding the back of the net. It makes selecting the team difficult, and that’s always a good thing for a coach. The boys are hungry to do well and to go as far as possible in this competition. But that doesn’t change the fact that it will be tough for us, so we will have to be at our best,” Moosa added.

Army Green meanwhile, have scored four goals in the tournament, of which striker Deepak Singh scored three. “We’re expecting another physical game on Saturday, and since kick off is at 2 pm, the conditions are going to be even more challenging. The boys need to make sure they begin well and hold strong. We’re not thinking about the semifinal or the final just yet. The most important game for us is the next one, and that’s the quarterfinal against Army Green,” said Moosa.

Kick-off in the clash between Bengaluru FC and Army Green is at 2 pm on Saturday, September 25th, and will be streamed live on the AddaTimes website and app. The winner of this encounter will face FC Goa in the semifinal.


Karnataka Referees Committee to conduct referees' exam

The Referees Committee of KSFA will be conducting an entrance examination for football referees in November at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, Interested Candidates from Karnataka can register through the AIFF website - www.the-aiff.com.

Eligibility criteria 
  • Minimum Qualification: SSLC (Tenth grade) pass
  • Age limit: l8 to 28 years

Classes will commence from the first week of October onwards at Bangalore Football Stadium. Examination fees applicable 

For further Information and details contact:
  • Balasubramanium – 9986330510 and G Murthy - 8073515202
  • Mail to us at ksfarc@gmall.com


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Bengaluru FC beat Indian Navy to make Durand Cup knockouts

Bengaluru FC Media

Naushad Moosa’s Bengaluru FC side scripted a remarkable second-half comeback to make the knockout rounds of the 2021 Durand Cup, with a 5-3 win over Indian Navy at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Tuesday. Goals from Jijo (18’), Sreyas (29’) gave the Services side a two-goal lead heading into the break before the Blues came out all guns blazing in the second period, with strikes from Leon Augustine (52’), Harmanpreet Singh (60’, 80’), Ajay Chhetri (73’) and Thoi Singh (90’ + 1’) sealing the points. Vijay (90’ + 3’) added a consolation goal for the away side in extra time.

Naushad Moosa made one change to the team that drew 2-2 with Delhi FC, with Bidyashagar Singh replacing Leon Augustine.

Blues’ goalkeeper Lara Sharma had to be alert to deny Indian Navy in the opening minutes, doing well to push a corner onto the post and out of play. At the other end, on the five-minute mark, Sivasakthi Narayanan broke free but the Indian Navy defence did well to cut out his pass into the box.

Indian Navy took the lead in the 18th minute when Jijo latched onto Lara’s clearance from a corner and volleyed home from the edge of the box. Sivasakthi had a chance to put the Blues back on level terms, but skied his effort after Harmanpreet Singh found him free in the box. Instead, Indian Navy doubled their lead ten minutes later through Sreyas VG, who ran free down the middle and placed his finish into the far corner.

The Blues almost pulled one back just past the half hour mark, when Ajith Kumar did well to bring down a long pass but couldn’t find Harmanpreet at the far post.

Leon, replacing Bidyashagar at the start of the second half, put his name on the scoreboard with a well-taken finish, after Sivasakthi’s flick sent him one on one with the ’keeper Bhaskar Roy. The scorer then turned provider, when he found Harmanpreet with an inch-perfect pass, and the forward made no mistake in finding the back of the net to make it 2-2.

With momentum on their side, the Blues pressed forward and won a penalty, after Biswa Darjee was brought down in the box. Ajay Chhetri made no mistake from the spot, finding the bottom corner to complete the turnaround and put the Blues 3-2 up. Harmanpreet added another goal to his name, chipping the ball over the onrushing ’keeper and finishing into an empty net.

The Blues added another goal in stoppage time, when Sivasakthi broke free down the right-wing and found Bekey Oram, who toyed with the Indian Navy defence before finding Thoi Singh, who placed his finish between two defenders and the ’keeper to put the Blues 5-2 up. Vijay then reduced the deficit for Indian Navy in the final minutes of added time, making it 5-3. 

The win sees Bengaluru progress to the quarterfinals, where they take on Army Green, who finished second, with six points, in Group B.