Category: Federation Cup

Players delighted to bring back Federation Cup to Bengaluru


Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC on Sunday clinched their second Federation Cup title in three seasons, after beating rivals Mohun Bagan through two C.K. Vineeth extra-time goals in Cuttack.

Delightedcaptain Sunil Chhetri said, “The last ten days had been so difficult knowing I wouldn’t be able to help the team on the pitch. But not for once did I doubt that the boys would get the job done when it mattered the most. I sat in the stands for the final in two capacities – one as a Bengaluru FC player and the second, as a fan of this club.”

Sunday night hero C.K. Vineeth said, “It’s been a strange few days for me but I kept every distraction aside and focused only on this big chance that we had to bring home a trophy. We were the better team in every position on the pitch and I’m very happy that I could finish things off with two goals.”

Midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh added, “We’ve made it a habit to win one trophy a season at this club and we told ourselves that we have to keep that going. Not winning the League this year also meant that if we were to play in Asia the next season, we had to turn up and deliver against Bagan on Sunday.”

Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh said, “I kept telling myself in the build-up to this final that I’m not letting Mohun Bagan take this away from us. We had battled hard to get to the final and I was willing to do everything it takes to bring the cup back to Bangalore.”

Defender John Johnson added, “On this team, we’re used to bringing a trophy home every year and it was important not to let the fans down. It’s been a tough season but once again, we’ve fought our way through it and we have a title to show for it. Now we’re focused on the AFC Cup and getting through to the next round.”

Federation Cup: Bengaluru FC are champions

Cuttack: A CK Vineeth brace in the second period of extra time (107′, 118′) saw Bengaluru FC edge out arch rivals Mohun Bagan 1-0 to be crowned the Federation Cup champions on a night where Albert

Roca’s men didn’t put a foot wrong at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack. The Blues mocked the odds, dug deep and got the job done to keep their record of winning a major trophy every season intact, while also booking a place in next season’s AFC Cup.

After dominating the whole game, it took two strikes from substitute Vineeth to settle the tie. His first, came after the striker took two touches in the box before firing it low and with the help of a deflection, past Debjit Majumder in the Bagan goal. The second, on the counter, saw the striker feint twice before a shot that had too much on it for Debjit to handle as it was parried into the net (118).

Roca named a starting XI that had Len Doungel rewarded with a start for consistently strong performances against Bagan in the group stages and the AFC Cup fixture. With no Cameron Watson, Lenny Rodrigues joined Alwyn George and Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the midfield.

The Blues’ incessant pressure earned them corners in quick succession and Roca’s side thought they had their lead in the 19th minute when Udanta Singh volleyed home Lyngdoh’s take in stunning fashion only for the assistant referee to disallow the goal after Doungel, in an off-side position, seemed to have got a bit of leg on the ball on its way in. There was a second big chance only two minutes later when Udanta tried to cheekily flick in Lenny’s low cross but Debjit Majumder got enough of a hand to push it out for a corner.

In a half that belonged to Bengaluru, Sandesh Jhingan did well to make a goal line clearance from a Katsumi Yusa shot in the 31st minute in what would be Bagan’s only real chance in the first period.

While Bengaluru had nothing to complain about Udanta’s disallowed goal in the first half, they were justified in feeling robbed when Juanan Gonzalez’s legitimate prod from close in the 49th minute was wrongly flagged off side. John Johnson headed a free kick from Udanta across the face of the goal and the Blues’ Spanish defender was well on side as he put the ball at the back of the net only for Bengaluru celebrations to be cut short by a flag that should have stayed down.

Things soon got frenetic at both ends. Amrinder Singh pulled off a blinder of a save, getting his fingertips on a goal-bound rasping strike from Balwant Singh. Bengaluru soon answered with a counter. Set up by Harmanjot Khabra, Udanta spotted Majumder charging off his line and lobbed to ’keeper only to see the ball bounce wide. But the young winger, who was having a fantastic night, ended up pulling a muscle in the bargain, forcing Roca to bring on CK Vineeth. Bagan then had a flurry of corners in added time of the second half but the Bengaluru defence did enough to see the danger away and take the game to extra time.

The Blues’ woeful luck wouldn’t part ways as second-half substitute and former Bagan man Cornell Glen saw his chip from a tight angle bunce off the post with no Bengaluru body to tap home the rebound.

Federation Cup: Bagan, Bengaluru to do it all over again


CUTTACK: Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC will be vying to clich their first silverware of the season when they lock horns in the final of the 2016/17 Federation Cup on Sunday at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Orissa.

After two weeks of captivating action, the stage is set for a classic final as both teams are aiming to cap a remarkable campaign by winning the title.

This will be the sixth meeting between these two teams in past three months. Ironically, these two even faced off three days prior to the final in an AFC Cup clash at Kolkata with Mohun Bagan coming out victorious 3-1.

Record 14 times Federation Cup champions Mohun Bagan who are also defending their crown, go into the match as favourites after notching a resounding 2-0 win over arch rivals East Bengal in the semifinal. However, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen don’t feel the same way as the 56-year-old knows they cannot afford to take anything for granted.

“The match against East Bengal is past, whatever happend before will count for little if we can’t win the title,” said Sen.

“We have a lot of respect for Bengaluru FC but we are ready to face them. We need to keep our composure and I am positive that the players will rise to the occasion,” he added.

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen chose to rest several regular starers in Sony Norde, Anas Edathodika, Sehnaj Singh, Debjit Majumder, Pritam Kotal, Subhasish Bose, Shouvik Chakraborty and Darryl Duffy in the win against Bengaluru FC midweek, in a bid to keep them fresh for Sunday and all of them will be handed starts in the final.

Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, entered the final after beating recently crowned I-League champions Aizawl FC 1-0 in the semifinal and will be chasing their second title in three years.

Coach Albert Roca made it clear that he would be expecting a challenging encounter with Mohun Bagan but he will not be dwelling on the result from their last meeting on Wednesday.

“When the sides met last time we created more scoring chances but Mohun Bagan were more efficient with theirs and thus carried the day. Final will be a whole different game. My players are up for the task and they’re ready to go and I believe we have what it takes to win.” the Spanish coach said.

Going into the game Bengaluru FC will miss the service of their talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri who limped out in their last Federation Cup Group B game against Mohun Bagan and also missed the semi-final. Meanwhile, Cameron Watson, who scored the winner against Aizawl FC, would also miss the final.

However, the likes of Amrinder Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Sandesh Jhingan, Juanan Gonzalez, Lenny Rodrigues, Udanta Singh, John Johnson and Harmanjot Khabra who did not featured in the AFC Cup game will be back in the side.

Therefor, it promises to be a very absorbing game of football come tomorrow and it’s one of those games where the finest details will surely decide the final outcome for the match.The match against East Bengal is past, whatever happend before will count for little if we can

Federation Cup: Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal to set up Bengaluru FC final


CUTTACK: Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Federation Cup at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha today (May 14, 2017).

Darryl Duffy’s 35th-minute header and Balwant Singh’s 84th-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides as the defending Champions progressed to the Final of the Federation Cup where Bengaluru FC wait for the challenge.

It was a bright start for East Bengal in the semi-finals and the Red and Golds could have taken the lead as early as the 8th minute when Plaza failed to tap home from close range after Rafique had found the Trinidad & Tobago forward in the box. Three minutes later, Rafique himself saw his header from inside the box being denied by a fine Debjit save.

There were more bright spots for East Bengal but the Red and Golds failed to capitalise on them. In the 16th minute Rowllin Borges’s shot earned a good save by Mohun Bagan’s custodian Debjit Majumder and seven minutes later Wedson came close to drawing first blood when his shot from distance curled inches over the goal.

For Mohun Bagan, the first real attempt at goal came in the 25th minute when a Sony Norde free-kick was parried away for a corner after Darryl Duffy was brought down. Sanjoy Sen’s men grew into the match and took the lead in the 35th minute when Darryl Duffy’s deft header off a Sony Norde cross crept into the back of the net.

East Bengal dominated possession and shots on goal, but the Red and Golds had nothing to flaunt for their prowess, while Mohun Bagan made sure that the Mariners had their finishing boots on as Bagan lead 1-0 at half-time.

Mohun Bagan’s midfield sat deep in the second half and protected the Mariner’s defence for much of the half, trying to safeguard the slender lead.

The Bagan defence too became compact and proved impenetrable for the Kingfisher East Bengal duo of Plaza and Wedson. Sanjoy Sen’s men attacked the counter and Sony Norde almost came close to doubling the lead when his shot in the 60th minute flew inches near the goal.

Three minutes later, Rafique had a golden opportunity to equalise proceedings after a long ball in the box had left the Bagan defence in tandems. Rafique, however, failed to shoot the ball home from hand shaking distance to add to Kingfisher East Bengal’s missed opportunities.

In the 78th minute, Debjit Majumder made a reflex save to deny Plaza’s header from close range. The Mariners defence line accompanied by its custodian held on for the remainder of time and Balwant Singh doubled Bagan’s lead in the 84th minute when he scored after Katsumi Yusa found him in the box. The full-time scoreline read 2-0 as Mohun Bagan progressed to the final.

Federation Cup: Resilient Bengaluru defeat Aizawl to enter final


Cuttack: Amrinder Singh saved a penalty in the last minute of additional time (90+7) to dump Aizawl FC out of the Federation Cup and send Bengaluru FC to the final after Cameron Watson scored from the spot in the 8th minute in a dramatic semifinal at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack, on Sunday.

With captain Sunil Chhetri ruled out of the tournament with a muscle injury, Roca handed CK Vineeth a start as striker ahead of Len Doungel while Eugeneson Lyngdoh returned to side after a suspension and was drafted out wide.

The Blues started on the offense with shots from Vineeth and Lyngdoh saved by Gomes before a tackle from Kingsley Eze on Alwyn George prompted referee to point to the spot in the 8th minute. Watson, stepping up in the absence of Chhetri, made no mistake as he slotted past Albino Gomes to score his first goal for the Blues and give Roca’s side an early lead.

Bengaluru pushed forward and almost found a second when Alwyn sent Vineeth through on goal but Kingsley recovered to make the tackle before the Blues’ number 31 could get a shot away.

The Blues’ best chance of the half came from Watson once again. The Australian curved a shot past the Aizawl defence only to see it cannon back into play off the post for Lyngdoh’s effort on the rebound to find its way into the hands of Gomes.

Roca brought in Cornell Glen for Vineeth a little beyond the hour mark and the No.9 was a handful for the Aizawl defence who found his strength tough to deal with. Infusing a little pace, the Blues then brought on Udanta Singh for Lyngdoh and the youngster always looked a threat on the counter.

Glen came close in the 89th minute when after being picked out by a pass from Harmanjot Khabra, he lost his man with a feint only to see his curled effort with the left roll wide.

The Blues were made to deal with drama at the end when Jhingan’s foul on Bayi Kamo prompted the referee to award Aizawl a penalty in the seventh minute of added time. Chullova stepped up to take the spot-kick but Amrinder guessed right to make the save in what was the very last action of the game.

Building on a compact showing against Bagan, the Blues’ three-man defence with the two wing-backs in support, were on top of their game. John Johnson, who wore the captain’s armband, was at his clinical best, keeping Kamo out of the game.

Federation Cup: Bengaluru take on Aizawl with spot in final at stake


Cuttack: Less than 48 hours of making the last four of the Federation Cup, Bengaluru FC will take the pitch at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack, on Sunday with Aizawl FC standing between Albert Roca’s men and a place in the final.

The 2015 Federation Cup champions left it late in the tournament where a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan in the last group stage game was enough to see them through. And Bengaluru’s Spanish manager hopes that his side can recover in time and turn up with the goods against the League champions who have had the luxury of an extra day to recover before the big fixture.

“It isn’t the ideal recovery period before a big game but we’re going to keep that aside and focus on the job ahead. I was happy with the way the team applied themselves against Bagan on Friday and we will need a bigger performance than that against Aizawl who are riding high in confidence after their I-League triumph,” said Roca.

The Blues will however be without talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri who limped out in the second half against Bagan with a muscle injury, one that Roca fears will keep him out for the remainder of the season. “I don’t need to spell out how important a player Sunil is and it’s unfortunate that he has to sit out. We are waiting on reports from scans to know the extent of his injury. But we have always been a team that pushes and pulls together and I’m confident of everyone working even harder,” said Roca who has midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh back from suspension for the fixture.

With Chhetri out, Roca has options in CK Vineeth, Mandar Rao Dessai and Udanta Singh while Cornell Glen, who was an unused substitute on Friday, too could have a role to play. “There are options on this team and it’s a good problem to have. The boys know how much we have been through in a very short time in this tournament and we will be stretching ourselves against Aizawl in our attempt to go a step ahead.”

Bengaluru have had the upper hand over Aizawl in League, drawing against Khalid Jamil’s side in Mizoram and beating them in Bengaluru. The League champions, in the quest of a double, came from two goals down to beat Chennai City FC in their tournament opener and followed it up with a winner at the death against Churchill Brothers before playing out a goalless draw against fellow semifinalists East Bengal.

The game kicks off at 4 pm and will be beamed live on the Ten 2 network.

Federation Cup: Bengaluru share spoils with Bagan to complete semis quartet


CUTTACK: Bengaluru FC play out a 1-1 draw with Mohun Bagan to book the second semi-final slot remaining from Group-B, joining Aizawl FC, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan to complete the quartet for the Federation Cup semi-finals.

Alwyn George’s 11th-minute strike was cancelled by a 50th minute Sony Norde goal for Mohun Bagan as both teams shared the points at the end of the match.

Per the result, Mohun Bagan topped Group B with seven points, Bengaluru on six points with Shillong Lajong and DSK Shivajians on three points each.

Starting the game with intent given what was at stake, Bengaluru shot into the lead in the 11th minute when Alwyn, picked ahead of Udanta on the right, scored with a clinical left-foot finish, leaving Debjit Majumder no chance whatsoever. The Blues could have doubled their lead only minutes later but skipper Sunil Chhetri saw his attempt bounce off the crossbar from a corner.

Bagan got on level terms soon after the restart when Norde, picked out Kean Lewis, bet one man and fired low past Amrinder’s left to make it 1-1 in the 50th minute. Bengaluru soon suffered a minor blip when Chhetri, visibly struggling with a limp, made way for Malsawmzuala.

Norde’s moment of individual brilliance apart, Bengaluru played like a team with a plan that wouldn’t give an inch. Doungel’s impressive work rate as striker allowed the wings more freedom. In defence, John Johnson and Juanan Gonzalez were winning every aerial duel while Jhingan, Ranjan and Harmanjot Khabra were winning tackles and helping the midfield to build up play.

The Blues had a half chance in the 87th minute when Lenny’s ambitious punt ahead bounced over a Bagan head and fell in the path of Doungel’s run. But in looking to control the ball and set himself up for the finish, the Bengaluru striker was robbed in time by Eduardo.

In the last few minutes, Mohun Bagan beefed up bodies in the midfield to counter the free-flowing attacks of Bengaluru FC. With a draw enough to get both Teams into the knock-out stage, both teams played the match cautiously, not over committing to attacks was a common sight. The full-time scoreline read 1-1 as both Teams progressed to the semi-final stage.



Federation Cup: DSK go down to last gasp goal by Lajong


CUTTACK: It was heartbreak for DSK Shivajians as Shillong Lajong FC scored a last minute winner to beat DSK Shivajians by a margin of 2-3. With two goals by Halicharan Narzary on the 64th and 86th minute,  Alen Deory scored in the 49th minute, while Redeem Tlang and Samuel Lalmuanpuia scored on the 68th and the 90+2nd minute for Shillong Lajong FC.

Dave Rogers opted to start with the Same XI that beat Bengaluru FC under 48 hours ago, with the Englishman re-iterating his faith in the youth as he started with 6 U-22 players in his Lineup. With two changes on the Bench, Lalhriatpuia Chhangte and Lalawmpuia were dropped in favour of Halicharan Narzary and Sanju Pradhan.

The game started off lacking the intensity seen in the 7 PM Kick-Offs, owing majorly to the extreme weather conditions present in Cuttack, Orissa as well as this being the players third game in 5 days. Vishal Kaith did however get into the action early on in the Shillong Lajong FC goal, gathering a Kim Song-Yong worked attack on the 6th minute. Moments later Vishal Kaith saved a Lallianzuala Chhangte shot, a battle that would go on to change the game in the coming moments. With Kaith confidently catching everything in and around his six yard box, Shillong Lajong were making inroads into the DSK Shivajians defensive area, with Redeem and Rupert combining beautifully on occasion. The highlight of the half was, however, the injury to Kim Song-Yong, who landed awkwardly to have his knee stuck in the turf. The Big North Korean, who has only just returned to full fitness after an ACL injury was stretchered off, leading to a change in emphasis for Dave Rogers’ boys. The 31st minute saw another great run by Mawihmingthanga, only for his shot to be matched by an equally good save by Vishal Kaith. The closest both sides came to goal was on the 41st minute, as Lallianzuala Chhangte cut past two defenders to beat the keeper, only to be denied by not one but both the posts. The half ended with a flurry of action, with a number of DSK Shivajians attempts being blocked. It however, ended at 0-0.

The second half started with Shillong Lajong displaying something of an oomph factor about their game. This resulted in them opening the scoring on the 49th minute, with Alen Deory backheeling the ball into an unguarded net after a series of headers in the box. DSK Shivajians had an immediate response, with Juan Quero going free on goal, but claims for a penalty were denied by the referee as the Spaniard appeared to have been pulled back. Seconds later, Lallianzuala Chhangte’s shot was again blocked by the tall keeper from Himachal Pradesh in Lajong’s goal. The 55th minute saw Mawihmingthanga clear in on goal. His shot was however blocked by Shadap. With five back to back attacks finding Lallianzual Chhangte clear in on goal, it was Vishal Kaith who came out on top every time with the young Mizo attacker getting increasingly frustrated. A change in the player in attack however, led to a change in result for DSK Shivajians when Halicharan Narzary who came on for Vanlalremkima found himself a yard of space in the box to finally level the score. The side from Pune, however, found themselves on the receiving end of a sucker punch as Redeem Tlang pounced on a fumble by Subrata Paul to put the Meghalayan side 2-1 ahead. With DSK Shivajians again moving into attack mode, Lallianzuala Chhangte finally got the better of Vishal Kaith as he cut past the keeper only to be brought down, and denied a clear goal scoring opportunity with the keeper subsequently sent off.

With Lajong parking the proverbial bus, it was a moment of magic that saw Halicharan Narzary turn his man and score from 30 yards out to put DSK Shivajians level. A goal any striker would have been proud of, Narzary justified his manager’s faith in him. With a win taking them through, DSK Shivajians threw bodies forward. This however, backfired as Samuel Lalmuanpuia found himself in the clear on the last minute of added time to coolly slot it past Subrata Paul. The result did not tell the tale of the match, with DSK Shivajians going down to Shillong Lajong by a margin of two goals to three to end their campaign with three points from as many games.

“We played really well against a really good team. Sometimes in football, when you play against ten men, it becomes a little more difficult on the counter attack. Having said that, I’m proud of my players, they’ve been outstanding and have given their 110%  on and off the field all season.” said Dave Rogers, First Team Manager, DSK Shivajians.

Federation Cup: East Bengal progress to semifinals after draw with Aizawl


CUTTACK: East Bengal became the second team to qualify from Group A and progress to the semi-finals after they played a 0-0 draw against Aizawl FC in the Federation Cup at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha today (May 11, 2017).

With this draw, East Bengal finish runners-up with five points out of three matches and set up the potential of a Kolkata derby in the semi-finals, given Mohun Bagan finish table toppers in Group B. Meanwhile, Aizawl FC finish top of Group A with seven points out of three matches.

Khalid Jamil made as many as eleven changes to the lineup that registered a 1-2 win against Churchill Brothers and complacency at the back was clearly visible of a young Aizawl FC side in the opening minutes.

Willis Plaza upfront and Wedson Anselme on the wings cause trouble at the back and in the 10th minute, Plaza came close to giving Kingfisher East Bengal the lead after his header flew inches past of the goal. Five minutes later, Plaza combined with Wedson, only for the former to earn a corner kick after the Aizawl custodian made a fine save from close range.

Aizawl FC recouped in the match but could only test Subhashish from distance, failing to foster any clear goal scoring chance. Plaza had a chance in the 37th minute when he was found in the box by a Narayan Das cross, but the Aizawl FC defence prevented him from releasing the shot. The half-time scoreline read 0-0.

In the 48th minute, Rafique wriggled into the box but his final delivery lacked the venom for Wedson to make a clean contact on and the Aizawl FC defence line mopped up the attempt.

Kingfisher East Bengal attacked in hordes with ammunition provided from the midfield by Rafique and Cavin Lobo. In the 54th minute, Lobo released an enticing cross but Plaza failed to connect to it.

Aizawl FC played with a deep line and their midfield dropped back to add numbers as Khalid Jamil’s men focused on soaking the pressure out. For East Bengal, chances missed up front took a toll and the Red and Golds failed to find the net even after having the majority of possession in the final third. The full-time scoreline read 0-0 as both Team shared the spoils of battle.

Federation Cup: Bengaluru take on Mohun Bagan in must-win fixture


Cuttack: Bengaluru FC take on Mohun Bagan on Friday at the Barabati Stadium knowing a win would give the Blues the best chance to make it to the semifinal of the Federation Cup from a group that’s riddled with possibilities for all teams involved, with a last round of games left to play.

With the DSK-Lajong game kicking off at 4 pm, the Blues will know exactly what they need to do against Bagan later in the evening. But Albert Roca has asked his side to turn a blind eye to all combinations of results and mathematics and instead focus on three points against the Kolkata side who lead the Group B standings having all but made the cut to the last four with two wins in as many games. “We find ourselves in a situation where our backs are against the wall and while our progress could be determined by the other result in the group, we need to train all our thoughts on getting the win against Bagan,” said Roca on the eve of the game.

Bengaluru’s 2-0 defeat to DSK means the Pune side joins the Blues on second position with three points while Lajong, with two losses, are bottom of the pile. The head-to-head record will determine who makes it out of the group should there be two teams with same points. In the event of three teams finishing with the same points, goal difference serve as the deciding factor.

In what is a bit of a set-back, Bengaluru will be without midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh who sits out of the fixture with two bookings in as many games. But Roca sounded confident of the quality his side possessed. “We have enough ability on this team to find us results when we need them the most. Every player in every position will have to step up if we are to stay alive in the competition. We know we are up against a very strong team in Bagan and nothing short of our best will do,” said Roca.

Having put a dominant show for most parts of both group stage games, Bengaluru will have to be wary of the lapses in focus that saw them concede rather needless goals. “We’ve seen what happens when we let our guard down for even a bit. We got away with it in the first game but were punished in the second. We are a side that loves to attack always and that can leave us a little vulnerable on the counter if we aren’t focused enough. Let’s hope we can fix this in a game where mistakes can end our tournament,” said Roca.

The match kicks off at 7 pm and will be telecast live on Ten 2.