A glorious run ends for the Blues!

AFC Cup Dream run comes to an end Bengaluru FC finish second best at Doha
news Sports Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 23:30
After making the nation proud by becoming the first ever Indian club to reach the finals of the AFC Cup, Bengaluru FC’s dream run came to an end on Saturday.
It was never going to be an easy game for The Blues given that the Iraqi club was eligible to play in the top tier continental tournament, AFC Champions League but missed out due to a disciplinary issue.
But despite the defeat, the Indian club has nothing but positives to take away from Saturday’s clash. With former Barcelona backroom staff Albert Roca at the helm of affairs, Bengaluru FC has newer heights to scale.
The first half did not produce any fireworks. The highlight of the first 45 minutes was the shock substitution of Tareq for AFC after he picked up an injury. He was replaced by Osama Ali. 
However, it was the Iraqi Air Force Club which had the first chance of the half but it was squandered by Ahmed. It was a good ball from the flank but he could not meet the target with his header. 
The Iraqi team started well threading quick short passes but Bengaluru did not lose their shape. After 30 mins, the Blues gathered steam and created a few chances with long diagonal balls. But Ralte came to the rescue of the Blues as he gathered a square ball out from Radhi.
Both the keepers remained untested for majority of the first 45 minutes with the Air Force Club having 56 per cent of the possession and no shots on target for both the teams.
The lackluster first half meant that the second half had something extra in store. Air Force Club started well creating a flurry of chances in the opening minutes. As Bengaluru FC flagged a bit, the Iraqi side capitalised. It had to be Ahmed who scored his 16th goal of the campaign in the 70th minute. It was good team play leading to a great finish from the striker.
The Blues could not manage to break the Iraqi defence in the remaining 20 minutes. Although, there were chances but they were few and far between. The Iraqi side engaged in standard delaying tactics with last minute substitution and also their goalkeeper was shown a yellow card for time wasting. 
The loss for Bengaluru FC in the final comes on the back of a glorious domestic season, where they won their second I-League in three seasons.


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