Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup hopes end after goalless draw against Bashundhara Kings

Bengaluru FC have one more group match left in the AFC Cup 2021. They play Maldivian football club Maziya on Tuesday.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by Bengaluru FC Media

The results means Bengaluru FC are now third in their group with one point from two matches and ended the Blues’ hopes of advancing beyond the group stages in the competition. Only the top team in the group will progress to the inter-zone semi-finals.

Bashundhara Kings tested Bengaluru FC a couple of times in the opening minutes but goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu dealt with the threats easily.

The Blues had their own chances, too, with Bidhyasagar Singh shooting wide from just outside the box in the fifth minute.

Both teams enjoyed equal possession in the first 15 minutes, but it was the Kings who looked dangerous in the final third, especially with Brazilian player Robinho on the left wing.

Robinho created regular chances for Bashundhara, but could not convert any.

On the other end of the pitch, BFC had their first shot on target in the 25th minute through a header by Gabon international Yrondu Musavu-King. However, Bashundhara custodian Anisur Rahman collected it safely to keep the score at 0-0.

Minutes later, a thunderous strike by Bashundhara’s midfielder Fernandes tested Gurpreet’s reach.

There were flashes of brilliance from the Indian club but Bashundhara controlled the pace of the match for the majority of the opening half.

Marco Pezzaiuoli’s men started on the backfoot in the second half too.

Kings’ striker Robinho aimed for the right corner from inside the box but two quick blocks by Gurpreet and an acrobatic goal-line clearance by Roshan saved Bengaluru.

The Blues, however, upped the ante from there on and BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri, who was relatively quiet till then, came close to putting his side ahead at the hour mark with a header.

Defender Alan Costa also came close after his header from a Cleiton Silva corner bounced off the ground to hit the woodwork.

Bengaluru FC kept pressing the Bashundhara defence but could not convert any of the chances. The match eventually ended with the two teams sharing the points.

Bashundhara Kings now have four points from two games and ATK Mohun Bagan, who defeated Bengaluru FC 2-0 on Wednesday, are on three. The Mariners face Maziya later tonight.

Bengaluru FC, although out of the competition, will play their final group stage match against Maziya S&RC on August 24.