This wasn't about a club, wasn't about a city. This was about a whole nation finding roots and higher benchmarks in football! #AFCCupFinal— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) November 5, 2016
FULL TIME! Air Force Club are Champions! Excellent show in the second half gives them their maiden AFC Cup title. Iraq has a winner for the first time in their history. Benagluru FC can be proud of what they have achieved. There will be greater days for them in the future. Great effort from Hammadi Ahmed who scored sixteen goals in eleven games
Time running out for Bengaluru FC. Can they produce something special now.
CK Vineeth peels away in space but fails to make a connection to the free kick. Big miss for Bengaluru FC
Ranjan SIngh comes on for Bengaluru FC as they have just eight minutes to take it to extra time. Can the Blues find a hero from somewhere?
Bengaluru FC hanging on as Air Force Club finding spaces in their defense very regularly now. Bengaluru need to weather the storm. Still time for them to level the score
GOAL! Air Force Club 1-0 Bengaluru FC
Brilliant move from the Iraqi side to split open the Bengaluru FC defense. Hammadi Ahmed scores his sixteenth goal in eleven games. Bengaluru FC need to show their character
Bengaluru Substitution: Alwyn George, Nishu Kumar OFF, Udanta SIngh, Seiminlen Doungel ON
Two chances in quick succession for AIr Force Club. But both go begging. First Amjad shoots wide, later top scorer Hammadi Ahmed fires over after a cut back find him in space at the edge of the box
Second half starts. Bengaluru on the attack, but nothing comes out of it. Which team will break the deadlock?
HT Air Force Club 0-0 Bengaluru FC
Cagey first half. Few chances on show. Bengaluru FC will be happier of the two sides to have kept Air Force Club fairly quiet. The game may open up in the second half as teams search for a winner. But so far so good for Bengaluru
40' Air Force once again starting to find their rhythm in the game. Bengaluru were opened up for a moment but Hammadi's cross was crucially cut off by goalkeeper Ralte to save a certain goal. Bengaluru have done well on the right flank where Rino Anto has bombed forward, but no real threatening attempts on goal
30' Best spell of the game for Bengaluru FC. Getting a few crosses into the Air Force box after sustained spell of possession in their half. No joy for the Blues, but good intent
25' Cagey affair so far. No teams really taking any great risks. Both sides seem happy with a 0-0 scoreline so far. Bengaluru FC looking to find some joy with some long balls
Twenty minutes gone and Bengaluru FC have managed to keep Air Force Club's attacking threat very much at bay. The Iraqi side hadn't had a sniff at goal so far and it's the first step achieved for Alber Roca's men. The Blues haven't had great joy on their attacks, but they will be content with a clean sheet as of now
15' After a bright start, Air Force Club have lost their tempo. There is a slow tempo to the game now. It will suit Bengaluru FC who will be looking to absorb the pressure and look for a quick break
5' Quick start from Air Force Club. The Iraqis moving the ball well in the opening exchanges. But Bengaluru as always keeping their shape well. This seems to be to the tone of the game this evening. Bengaluru will look to get some joy on the break
KICK-OFF! The game has kicked off in Doha. Bengaluru FC playing in their changed strips of white. They have enjoyed a fair bit of success in this kit
Bengaluru FC's run to AFC Cup Final. Whose success is it really?
Read Full Article : https://www.firstpost.com/sports/afc-cup-bengaluru-fcs-success-a-fantastic-anomaly-for-indias-stagnant-football-culture-3089772.html
Bengaluru FC XI: Ralte, Rino,, Juanan, Johnson, Nishu, Alvaro, Watson, Chhetri, Alwyn, Eugeneson and Vineeth
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya XI: Fahad, Ali-Saadi, Saad, Sameh Saeed, Majeed, Hammadi, Humam Tareq, Kadhim, Ali Fadhil, Amjed Radhi, Zahed
Less than 20 minutes to go for the AFC Cup Final between Bengaluru FC and Air Force Club in Doha. Can Bengaluru FC script yet another fairytale and become the first Indian club to win a continental title
There's a sense of irony in Bengaluru FC being heralded as the symbol of Indian football ahead of the AFC Cup final, for the club epitomises everything that Indian football is not.
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the AFC Cup Final. Bengaluru FC has already created history by becoming the first club to reach the summit clash of a continental tournament. Can they go a step ahead and seal the competition? Stay updated with our updates.
Preview: History beckons trailblazers Bengaluru FC as they lock horns with Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya of Iraq in the summit clash of AFC Cup at Doha on Saturday, aiming to become the first Indian football club to clinch a continental title.
Bengaluru FC have already created history by becoming the first Indian club to qualify for the final of a continental tournament after they defeated defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim in the semifinals on 4-2 aggregate last month.
Before this, the farthest an Indian club had advanced in a continental tournament was the two AFC Cup semifinal appearances by Dempo in 2008 and East Bengal in 2013.
But a bigger glory, which will be unprecedented in the annals of Indian football history, awaits Bengaluru as they prepare to clash with the Iraqi side, which, just like the Indian club, is also playing in its maiden AFC Cup final, at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium.
No football team from India, a laggard in the international arena, has won an Asian level title since the national side bagged the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games gold.
East Bengal won the first ASEAN Championship in Indonesia in 2003, beating Thai club BEC Tero Sasana 3-1 in the final. But that was a tournament competed by 10 sides from South East Asian countries plus East Bengal representing India as an invitational team.
It will be a remarkable achievement for Bengaluru, owned by JSW Steel, if they win the AFC Cup title in just the third year of their inception. Bengaluru won the 2013-14 I-League title in their debut appearance. They finished second in 2014-15 season and then reclaimed the title this year. In between, they won the Federation Cup in 2015.
The Bengaluru-based side, coached by Albert Roca, a former assistant coach at FC Barcelona, have been in superb form in the tournament winning six times, losing thrice and drawing twice. They are also expected to get the homelike feeling here as a large number of Indian expatriates settled in Qatar will be rooting for them.
Many people had not given a chance to Bengaluru when they took on Johor in the semifinals as the Malaysian side had beaten them twice in the group stage. But Bengaluru staked their claim for glory by earning a 1-1 away draw in the first leg of the semifinals before a 3-1 victory in the second at home.
Bengaluru players, led by India captain Sunil Chhetri, will have the extra motivation to chase history tomorrow but they will have to play out of their skin against a top class Iraqi side which have at least four national team players and have won eight out of 11 matches in the tournament. They drew twice and lost once.
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya have scored 26 goals in 11 matches so far in their campaign with 15 coming from their rampaging striker Hammadi Ahmed Abdullah, a national team player.
"We have to fight hard and lift our level on Saturday because it's the final of the AFC Cup competition. We will look to reduce our mistakes, and -- although we must respect our opponents -- we must focus very strongly in the game," said Ahmed.
Roca, however, is not unduly worried about their opponents' goal-scoring spree.
"I've said more than a few times that we play to our strengths. We have got to be brave and I don't see how going defensive translates to being brave. Yes, they are a good side that loves scoring but we back ourselves," said Roca.
The Spanish gaffer have to ensure that his defensive line-up led by John Johnson and Juanan will have to remain rock-solid tomorrow if his side is to have any chance of winning the coveted title. Bengaluru defence looked shaky in the group stages as they conceded 10 goals while scoring only nine, though the back-line improved its performance in the knock-out stages.
Roca will also hope that his inspirational captain and striker Sunil Chhetri continue with his splendid form of the second leg semifinals in Bengaluru.
Chhetri, who has netted five goals so far in the tournament, struck twice in the 3-1 win over Johor, his second strike emerging as the talk of town and arguably one of the best goals of his illustrious career.
Bengaluru will also be happy to learn that Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya will be without the services of influential midfielder Bashar Rasan and centre-back Samal Saaed through suspension.
The 19-year-old midfielder Bashar has recently made his debut for the Iraqi national team. He has quickly become one of the most important players for his club. Saaed has played in 10 out of his side's 11 matches in this tournament and is their first choice centre-back.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC will miss the services of first choice goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who is suspended and he will be replaced by 23-year-old Lalthuammawia Ralte.
Young Udanta Singh is also likely to play a part as he has recovered from an injury. He last came on as a substitute against Tampines Rovers in their 1-0 win in the quarterfinals in September.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 06, 2016 00:02 AM
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