Tag: Carles Cuadrat

ISL 5: Bheke strike hands Bengaluru 2-1 win over Pune

Bengaluru: It was the late, late show once again as Bengaluru FC became the first Indian Super League side to win six games in a row, beating FC Pune City 2-1 at the Fortress in what was a clash for the stands, at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Friday. Udanta Singh’s stunning opener (11′) was levelled with a Rahul Bheke own goal (15′) before the defender redeemed himself with a late strike (88’), his second in three games, to give Carles Cuadrat all three points.

Otherwise cautious starters, Bengaluru seemed in the mood from the get-go and Udanta chose an absolute stunner in the 11th minute for his second goal in as many games. Picking a pass from Harmajot Khabra, Udanta charged into the Pune box, sold Chhuantea a dummy and after sending his former teammate the wrong way, smashed the ball into the roof with his left.

Bengaluru could have gone two up a couple of minutes later when Chencho Gyeltshen’s goal-bound shot took deflections from defender Matt Mills and then goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh before going out for a corner.

But it took all of four minutes after conceding for Pune to get back on level terms, albeit with a little help from a Bengaluru shirt after Rahul Bheke turned a Marko Stankovic cross into his own goal at the near post.

Earlier, Bengaluru started with Rahul Bheke and Harmanjot Khabra in defensive positions with Albert Serran ruled out, having sustained a thigh injury in the previous clash against Delhi Dynamos. Midfielder Dimas Delgado returned to the starting eleven after serving his one-game suspension, in a midfield trio that included him, Xisco Hernandez and Erik Paartalu.

The unfortunate equaliser did nothing but spur Bengaluru to attack with even more gusto and how the half ended 1-1 will still take some explaining from the Blues. Bengaluru could have well scored the team goal of the season when Erik Paartalu’s overhead clearance in the Blues box sparked a swift counter that saw Udanta, Dimas, Xisco and Chencho play their part in getting the ball to Chhetri only to see the captain’s shot on target kept out by Kamaljit. This was before an unmarked Chencho sent a looping header over the bar from ten yards out.

With the ball refusing to roll in from close, Bengaluru decided to try from distance when Chhetri laid the ball off for Erik Paartalu to smash from twenty five yards out in the 45th minute. The hit flew fast and hard only come crashing off the crossbar, capping off a frustrating half for the home side.

Cuadrat brought on Semboi Haokip for Chencho a little over the hour mark, but Bengaluru’s luck refused to alter. With twenty minutes to play, Udanta found himself with the ball in the box, skipped past his man and fired against the angle of the post once again. But, with the minutes ticking out, the stands came alive once again, spurring the Blues into a flurry of attacks.

After shots from Chhetri and Xisco had been blocked, Nishu picked up a clearance from a corner before lobbing it deep into the area for Khabra, who acrobatically volleyed over Kamaljit and his defenders to find Bheke unmarked. The defender would make no mistake from two yards out, slotting home to give Bengaluru a lead they would protect until the very end.

The win sent Bengaluru five points clear at the top, despite playing a game lesser than second placed FC Goa. The Blues travel to Guwahati next, where they take on NorthEast United on December 5th.

AFC Cup 2018: All or nothing as Bengaluru look to turn tide against Altyn Asyr

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC are confident of climbing the proverbial mountain when they take on Altyn Asyr at the Kopetdag Stadium, on Wednesday, for a spot in the Inter-Zone final of the AFC Cup. Having suffered a 3-2 defeat at home, the Blues will need to win by a two-goal margin in the capital in what could be a comeback for the ages.

Though Cuadrat admitted that conceding three goals at home was far from the ideal scenario going into a second leg, he was confident that the late fightback at the Kanteerava has given his side belief and a chance against tough opponents. “Altyn Asyr is a good team who have been doing well in this competition. When they came to Bengaluru, they were in the middle of their league commitments and you could tell by how fit they were. They took advantage of the options they had in front of our goal. It was a bit of a shock to go down by three goals at home but we slowly took control of things in the second half and we had enough chances to put them in trouble. We have two goals that make us believe we have a shot at going ahead in this competition,” said the Spaniard while addressing the media on Tuesday.

The team from Turkmenistan didn’t have much of the ball in the first leg, but they made their reliance on the counter attack matter, with clinical finishing. Cuadrat said the early goals were a tad bit disappointing because they knew how the visitors would tackle the tie. “When you’re down a goal at home you want to get right back into it and that’s where we conceded another one on the counter attack. We have been watching Altyn Asyr’s games in the AFC Cup and we know they don’t really have a lot of possession during the game. Most games they usually have around 45 percent possession. They know they must defend well and punish the other teams on the counter. So, it wasn’t a surprise.”

The Blues will do well to be wary of the threat that the hosts possess through Altymyrat Annadurdyyew and Wahyt Orazsahedow, both of who were on target in Bengaluru. Winger Myrat Yagsyyew, who had to be substituted early in the game owing to a groin injury, remains a doubtful starter for the fixture.

The biggest positive that Bengaluru FC can take from the defeat and into the second leg is the attitude they displayed even after conceding three goals. The attack switched gears in the second half and had Altyn Asyr defending in numbers. The Blues were left feeling hard done-by after two stonewall penalty decisions were waived away by the referee. But goals from Rahul Bheke and Erik Paartalu were justice to the kind of turnaround they orchestrated.

Harmanjot Khabra, who missed the game with illness, has made the trip to Turkmenistan and it needs to be seen if he will have a part to play on Wednesday. Cuadrat also hinted at a possible rejig in the way he approaches the game and the team he rolls out. “We weren’t happy with the way things went in the first game and we would like to fix that. If it means us having to change and reshuffle, we will. In the end, we don’t have an option but to keep trying things that can keep us alive in the competition,” he said.

The winner of the tie will go on to face North Korean side 4.25 SC in the Inter-Zone final after they cruised past Singapore’s Home United FC 11-1 on aggregate in the other semifinal clash.

The game kicks off at 5 pm IST.

AFC Cup 2018: Brave Bengaluru take the fight to Turkmenistan

Bengaluru: What seemed like a tie that was done and dusted sprang back to life after Bengaluru produced an inspired second-half comeback against Turkmenistan side Altyn Asyr in the first leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semifinal at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. The Blues conceded three goals, before scoring two of their own to take a 2-3 result to Ashgabat for the second leg, set to be played in seven days’ time.

With an ill Harmanjot Khabra having to sit out of the game, Cuadrat started with Rino Anto at the right-back position while Xisco Hernandez made his Bengaluru debut, playing in the middle.

The visitors couldn’t have asked for a better start away from home when Vahyt beat the last line of defence and rose to nod home Nurmyradov Selim’s cross from the right in the 11th minute.

The Blues looked almost certain of squaring things up in the 15th minute when Chhetri was picked with a precise cross from Miku. The skipper measured the flight and picked his spot with a calm header only for ’Orazmuhamedov Mamed to clear the ball with an outstretched left foot.

Just when Bengaluru looked like getting back into the game, Altyn Asyr got a second through Altymyrat in the 24th minute. The leading scorer of the Turkmenistan side’s AFC Cup campaign, Altymyrat managed to sneak in a low but powerful hit past Sandhu at the near post.

Not allowing the deficit to kill their resolve of a fightback, Bengaluru gave the Altyn Asyr defence an edgy last ten minutes in the first half where Miku, Chhetri and Nishu had chances stuffed out by desperate blue shirts in the box.

Things slipped further for Bengaluru soon after the second half began when Vahyt got his second and Altyn Asyr’s third goal of the night. Sandhu had an uncharacteristically weak moment allowing Vahyt’s to roll past from under him.

With little to lose, Bengaluru kept plugging away as Udanta Sigh made life difficult for Altyn Asyr’s men on the left. The visitors seemed happy to sit back and defend in numbers as Bengaluru moved the ball all around, prodding for an opening. The Blues finally got one back in the 63rd minute when Bheke smashed home from in the box. Chhetri’s header from Udanta’s cross smashed the post only to bounce back to Bheke who wouldn’t miss.

The goal breathed fresh life into Bengaluru’s charge as they got into a rhythm that Altyn Asyr found tough to handle. The defending was frenetic at best but just enough to keep Miku, Udanta and a host of white shirts at bay.

Bengaluru were left feeling hard done when they thought they had two shouts for what looked like legitimate penalties, turned down by referee Iida Jumpei. But the Blues piled on the pressure, finding a second through Erik Paartalu. With Xisco’s initial cross headed out of the Altyn box, Udanta picked up the pieces and swung in a second that was nodded home by the Aussie.

The Blues fly to Ashgabat, where they will take on the Turkmenistan champions on August 29th, at the Kopetdag Stadium.

Health concerns cut short Cuadrat’s journey with Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru: Indian Super League side Bengaluru Football Club have announced that they have parted ways with Assistant Coach Carles Cuadrat by mutual consent after the Spaniard conveyed his decision to step down from the post owing to health concerns. The announcement marks the end of Head Coach Albert Roca’s long-standing association with Cuadrat, having coached together at various clubs and national teams before arriving in India.

Cuadrat, who gained a reputation of being a master at set-pieces, was flown back for treatment after landing in Pune for an away game with a condition in his knee. Having been away from the field during the Blues’ last two home games, the Spaniard had been using the internet to send Roca plans in the build-up to games.

Speaking about his decision to step down, Cuadrat said, “We landed in Pune for an away game and I had to fly back the same day for a surgery. I will now have to spend the next two months in recovery. I sat with the club management and we decided that it is best I take a step aside given how packed the fixture calendar is. I won’t be able to give the team and myself one hundred percent. We are a professional team and need all hands on the deck at all times, which is why I have taken this decision.”

Club COO Mustafa Ghouse said, “We will definitely miss the presence of Carles at the club, but we understand his situation and wish him a speedy recovery. He has been a vital cog in the club’s success and will always have a special place at the club. We would like to thank him for all he has done for Bengaluru FC and he’s always welcome here.”

The Blues have now appointed Barcelona-native Marc Huguet as the new Assistant Coach, who like Roca and Cuadrat, has also served as a Coach in the FC Barcelona youth setup. Huguet, who recently served as an Assistant Coach with FC Dinamo Tbilisi in Georgian 1st Division, Cordoba CF in La Liga and RCD Mallorca in Segunda Division, will join the Blues in the first week of January.

Naushad Moosa joins Bengaluru FC as Indian Assistant Coach

 

Bengaluru: Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC on Thursday, announced the appointment of AFC Pro-Licensed Coach Naushad Moosa as Indian Assistant Coach for the first team as well as Head Coach of the newly formed BFC reserve side.

Moosa has formerly served as Head of Youth Development and Head Coach of the U19 side at Pune FC and was head coach of Air India Limited in 2012. A former youth Coach at Mumbai FC, his most recent appointment was as U14s coach at Reliance Foundation Young Champs.

“As a coach, it is a privilege to join a club that has a winning mentality. Bengaluru FC has won a trophy in each of its four seasons and the professionalism of this team is second to none. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the setup here,” said Moosa following his appointment.

A former footballer himself, Moosa has turned out for Air India, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal FC, Mahindra United and Mohammedan Sporting in a career that spanned over 12 years. As coach of the Pune FC U19s, Moosa claimed the U18 I-League twice in three years and won the Pune League in 2016.

“We are very happy to add Naushad to our backroom staff. His experience as a player and coach will add a lot of value to our team and the added responsibility of managing the reserve squad will see him nurture the future stars at BFC,” said club COO Mustafa Ghouse.

While joining Albert Roca and Carles Cuadrat as  the Blues’ first team coaches, 46-year-old Moosa will also be at the helm of things for the newly formed BFC reserve side, which looks to bridge the gap between the clubs Residential Youth Academy in Bellary and the first team.