Bengaluru FC lose 0-3 to UAE’s Baniyas Club


Blues went down for the third time in Spain as they lost to another touring side from UAE – Baniyas Sports and Cultural Club


Photo Credit – @BaniyasClub Twitter

The game began with both sides battling for possession in midfield. The first chance of the game came in the 7th minute that fell to the Baniyas player Harry Novillo, whose strike from a distance was brilliantly tipped away at full stretch by blues keeper Mawia. Blues quickly responded with an attack of their own. In the tenth minute, Chhetri squared the ball for Daniel to strike, whose effort went just wide.

However In the 17th minute, Baniyas took the lead after Novillo found himself in space to shoot past Mawia off a cross from the right flank. Conceding the goal, Blues came back with a flurry of attacks, First Collin played Daniel through on goal only for Baniyas keeper Adel to come out & block his effort. A minute later, another chance flew by when Dimas found Chhetri from a set piece situation only for the captain to flick it over the bar. But it was once again, Baniyas that extended the lead in the 38th minute, when Hamad Saleh header beat Mawia to make it 2-0. Both sides entered the break with blues trailing by two goals

The second half began with blues coming out all guns blazing, Roca brought on Nishu, Lenny and Dovale replacing Collin, Zotea and Daniel with a tweaked formation in search of goals. A series of corners and set pieces resulted in blues coming closer to scoring a couple of times. In the 51th minute, a Juanan header from one such Dimas set-pieces was finely tipped over by Baniyas Keeper. Bengaluru kept on attacking as Udanta and Dimas continued to deliver crosses into the box but no avail. However in the 72nd minute against the run of play, Baniyas were granted a penalty after Bheke brought Omar down inside the box. But Mawia judged the spot-kick correctly to deny Omar and Baniyas the goal.

Also Read: Independent India’s 1st football game – An Olympic encounter

With time running out, Roca decided to switch plans as he brought his entire bench replacing the likes of Dimas, Udanta, Chhetri, Juanan, Erik and Khabra. Academy graduates Kalinga and leon were given a run in the game too. Minutes past the substitution, blues conceded their third goal as Almansoori zipped past his marker before slotting the ball past Mawia to make it 3-0. Blues lost their sting after the substitutions as apart from a Robinson’s strike from distance that forced a save from rival goalkeeper, Blues couldn’t get any breakthrough despite having plenty of possession.

The game ended at 3-0 as blues failed to win any of the three pre-season games. Albert Roca will have an added concern of blues leaking defence, which has conceded a total of 8 goals in 3 games so far. Although it must be noted that John Johnson blue’s first choice central defender hasn’t featured in any of the pre-season games so far.

Blues now head back to Bengaluru where they will face North Korean side 4.25 SC in the AFC Cup Inter-zonal Semi-Final on August 23rd.

Final Score: Baniyas Club 3 (Novilla 17’,Hamad 38’, Al Mansoor 78’ ) – 0 Bengaluru FC

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