Durand Cup 2019: Bengaluru FC vs Indian Army Red - Hits and Flops
The Indian Super League Champions came into the Durand Cup with a lot of expectations and hype with a perfect blend of youth and experience in the side.
But things did not go down so well with Naushad Moosa's side as they somehow managed a harhard-foughtaw against the Indian Army Red Football Team in the Durand Cup opener on Monday at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
Bengaluru FC began the game in good spirit but lack of finishing and composure in the midfield costed them to miss the chances created allowing Indian Army Red to slowly come into the game.
The Reds went into the lead through Liton Shil as he tapped home a brilliantly measured ball from Sunil B at the cusp of half-time.
Bengaluru did equalize late in the second-half after Namgyal Bhutia was brought down by Alwin E in the box and Suresh Wangjam scored from the spot. Sportskeeda looks at the best and worst performers of the day.
Hit - Suresh Singh Wangjam (Bengaluru FC)
The new addition to the Bengaluru roster, the U-17 FIFA World Cup star was awarded the 'Man of the Match' award in the game and rightly so.
Wangjam played a very utility role today as he kept on tracking down the opposition and as well as building up the play down the flanks and up the pitch for the Blues. Wangjam scored from the spot to equalize.
But, other than just equalizing, Wangjam played another role of holding up the play as well which resulted in several Bengaluru FC chances late in the game.
Flop - Edmund Lalrindika (Bengaluru FC)
The former AIFF Elite Academy man has been a well-known name in the Indian Football arena for a few years now courtesy his excellent performance in youth football.
Edmund has been a regular scorer in the Indian Youth Teams over the years and was picked up by the Blues accordingly.
However, Lalrindika was nowhere near his best form in the Durand Cup opener. He got several openings to score from either side courtesy the captain Roshan Singh and Leon Augustine but failed to put any of them away into the goal.
Lalrindika missed a sitter in the first-half when he had acres of space and all the time in the world to position himself and shoot but he hurried and missed the ball completely as arguably the biggest chance of the game went begging.
Hit - Mukesh Kumar (Indian Army Red)
Mukesh Kumar was a menace for the Bengaluru FC defence throughout the 90 minutes. His instant burst of pace and intelligent off-the-ball runs stretched the Bengaluru defence.
He was the man who built up the first goal by allowing Sunil B on the left who delivered in a pinpoint low ball to set up Liton Shil for the goal.
Mukesh Kumar combined well with the likes of Bikash Thapa to form a deadly combination upfront.
Flop - Gursimrat Singh Gill (Bengaluru FC)
Mukesh Kumar with Bikash Thapa alongside Liton Shil and Sunil B made life hard for most parts of the game for the opposition.
The Bengaluru FC defence was finding it complex to deal with the Army Red juggernaut in patches and Gursimrat Singh Gill was the perfect example of the same.
The young centre-back was caught off his position on some occasions which gave away an extra bit of space to exploit in front of the goal.
Naushad Moosa, being a very good defender of his times, needs to work more on his boys as far as the defensive department is concerned.
Hit - Aditya Patra (Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC could have been trailing by more than three goals at the end of the day if not for Aditya Patra. His clinical performance between the sticks and good organization of his back-line despite several miscommunications kept Bengaluru FC in the game.
The Indian Army Red looked very dangerous late in the first half and some wonderful acrobatic saves from Patra kept the danger at bay.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:03 IST