ARA FC and FC Bengaluru United clashed against each other on Wednesday, October 14 at 4:30 PM in the third matchday of the I-League second divison qualifiers. The match ended 1-1 courtesy of a last minute penalty kick.
ARA were playing their second match of the tournament, and were defeated heavily in the first match by Mohammedan Sporting by a margin of 4-1. On the other hand, FC Bengaluru United had one defeat against Bhawanipore and one victory against Garhwal FC in the tournament.
FC Bengaluru United’s starting XI-
Kunzang Bhutia(gk), Asraf Ali Mondal, Ronaldo Augusto, Antonio Oliveira, Robert Junior Primus, Arun Kumar D, Naro Hari Shrestha, Rana Gharami,
Vignesh Gunashekar, Azharuddin Mallick, William Opoku Asiedu, Amey Ranawade
Subs used- Brandon Green, Mohammad Asrar Rehber, Akhil P, Jaison Jordon Vaz, Aditya Mohan
ARA’s starting XI-
Surajit Seal, Shashi Kumar V, Karthik Govind Swamy, Stanley, Prabin Tigga, Sreekuttan VS, Jordan Cedric Fernandes, Pratik Swami, Melroy Fernandes(gk), Royal Wasker, Jenishsinh Rana
Subs used- Syed Shoaib Ahmed, Alber Gonsalves, Akshay Vimal Mall.
Story of the match
In the 36th minute of the match, ARA were advancing rapidly towards the opposition goal and Karthik Govind Swamy got his chance and tried to net the ball from the edge of the box. Instead, it deflected from a Bengaluru United defender and unfortunately for his team, the ball landed close to another ARA player, Pratik Swami. Pratik didn’t waste the opportunity and sent the ball into the back of the net with a powerful strike on target.
ARA managed to scrap through the match but during the last minute of injury time, the club from Gujarat messed up. William Opoku of FC Bengaluru United delivered a perfect flighted pass which managed to beat the two centre-backs, and the centre-forward and ARA’s goalkeeper both went for the ball. During this, the goalkeeper Melroy Fernandes fouled and was handed a yellow card. The referee awarded a penalty kick to FC Bengaluru United and substitute Mohammad Asrar Rehber made no mistake and equalised. The referee blew the full time whistle immediately as the match ended in a draw.
FC Bengaluru United dominated most of the match as they had a possession of 62% while ARA had just 38%. The number of shots taken by FC Bengaluru United were more than ARA too. They took 13 shots out of which 5 were on target. Out of those 13 shots, six were taken by William Opoku. ARA took 9 shots, out of which just one was on target. This showed how wasteful ARA were with their chances. Stanley Eze took 3 shots and Pratik Swami took 3 too, which included the only shot on target which was converted into a goal.
A lot of fouls were committed too. Ten fouls by Bengaluru and eleven by ARA, with both clubs recieving two yellow cards each. William Opoku and Jaison Jordon Vaz recieved the yellow card in FCBU while Royal Wasker and Melroy Fernandes recieved them in ARA, the latter resulting in the penalty kick.
ARA have two more matches to play, one against Bhawanipore FC and one against Garhwal. Meanwhile, Bengaluru United are yet to face Mohammedan, who could prove to be a major obstacle to cross. With Bhawanipore and Mohammedan collecting many points, it is getting more and more difficult for the other clubs to top the table and qualify to the I-League. A lot of hopes were pinned on FC Bengaluru United prior to the tournament, however Richard Hood’s boys haven’t been able to impress for one reason or another. With qualification now slipping out of sight, maybe we can see some better football without the pressure of I-League on the minds of the boys.