Bengaluru made it twelve games unbeaten in all competitions as two goals in second-half stoppage time meant they finished their debut ISL season with a record forty points. Make no mistake, Bengaluru dominated Kerala right from the word go and despite Kerala’s vociferous support, they didn’t really trouble Sandhu in the Bengaluru goal, so much so, he didn’t have a save to make and his only real activity was claiming a couple of crosses.
Your Dream Is Our Reality
Bengaluru are backed by some vocal support of their own and the West Block Blues had a pre-game surfer which said “Your dream is our reality, southern capital of trophies”, very good. Kerala’s fans are known as Manjappada and they also had a pre-game display of sorts, their banner reading “We make every ground our home” which is a fair comment, their away support has been very commendable this season, it’s just a shame their team couldn’t do enough. I mean that more so over the season than last night; yesterday’s game didn’t have anything major riding on it for either side, it’s just a disappointment that Kerala couldn’t make the playoffs because their fans would’ve put on quite a show.
Now, the match reports have had a different layout recently with the Delhi report and the Goa report being done in such a way that the goals are gone through and then we look at some other talking points from the game. The difference this time is that there are only two goals to describe, rather than the five and six we had earlier in the week. We’ll give it a go, so how it all ends up.
Going into stoppage time at the end of the second half, David James would have been relatively happy as it looked like his side were going to come away with a point. Miku, on the other hand, had other ideas. Daniel Segovia, who is still to establish himself within the Bengaluru side, gave Albert Roca something else to think about as he assisted Miku’s goal.
Two Stoppage Time Goals
Miku made sure he kept up his red-hot streak as he struck the ball across Rachubka and into to the corner. The former Rayo Vallecano man has now scored in his last five games and will certainly be one to watch in the playoffs.
Two minutes later, Udanta, who started on the bench, made sure of the points. Roca opted for Boithang Haokip over Udanta in what was probably a selection with one eye on the playoffs and their upcoming AFC Cup games, however, the twenty-one year old still managed to open his account for the season.
Delgado played the ball into Udanta, who was in a not too dissimilar position to where Miku picked the ball up moments earlier and the result was the same. Whereas Miku went across Rachubka, Udanta opted to try and beat the ex-Manchester United keeper at his near post and he did just that to send the Bengaluru fans delirious once more.
Those are the goals, you enjoyed that, didn’t you? Well, you should’ve done! To be fair, there wasn’t a great deal else that went on in the game, nevertheless, we’ll find some talking points…
#1 James’ Keeper Dilemma!
I understand that it’s difficult to keep players happy. Goalkeepers are especially difficult because there’s only one of them on the pitch at any given time. David James is a former keeper, so naturally, he doesn’t want his keepers to be unhappy, but it’s up there with the most important position on the pitch. The constant switching between Chowdhury and Rachubka has played a part in them missing out on a top-four spot, so let’s take a look at which one is better.
We’ll start with Chowdhury – P: 7 | W: 5 | D: 1 | L: 1 | Conceded: 7 | Clean Sheets: 1 & now Rachubka – P: 12 | W: 2 | D: 5 | L: 5 | Conceded: 15 | Clean Sheets: 5. Now you get a better understanding as to why James has such a selection headache because, despite Rachubka keeping five clean sheets, he’s only won twice. Chowdhury has made 27 saves compared to Rachubka’s 33 which gives you an idea who the better shot-stopper is. For me, Rachubka let himself down away at Goa and then compounded things when he came off the bench against Bengaluru in the return leg and conceded two goals in stoppage time. I’m firmly in the Chowdhury camp.
#2 Dominant Delgado
Dimas Delgado does a lot of the shit jobs if you would. He’s one of the players that perhaps slips under the radar due to the flair players around him and that’ll suit him just fine. The ex-Barcelona man has made over 250 more passes than his closest teammate and that’s with him missing three games at the start of the season, so imagine how far he would be ahead if he had!
The Spaniard is also the only Bengaluru player that has touched the ball over 1,000 times this season so it would probably be wise to keep an eye on him. The match-up against Ahmed Jahouh will prove very interesting should their paths cross at the end of season showdown. It’s fair to say that if Bengaluru choose to get rid of him at the end of the season, he will be a very tough act to follow.
#3 Marvellous Miku
It’s tough not to mention this man when you talk about Bengaluru. This will be his best goalscoring return this decade and at the moment, it’s the third best of his career. He needs two more to match his haul at Salamanca in 08-09 and six more to match his career best of twenty which he got at the same club in 05-06. It’s not just goals that he brings the table; his link-up play with the players that play in and around him is sublime and is one of the reasons why Chhetri has also hit double figures.
Miku could also end up winning the golden boot (I think) because he’s only two goals behind Coro and as long as the playoff goals count, there’s every chance he could catch him.
That’ll do for today. A bloody good show if I do say so myself. No match report to follow tomorrow as it’ll all be condensed into the weekend roundup and 1-25, there’ll be something coming out though. Keep your eyes peeled.
Until the next time.