Blues Suffer Second Half Set-Back; Miku Returns To Action
Benidorm, Alicante: Bengaluru FC suffered a 1-5 loss against UAE Pro-League side Shabab Al Ahli Dubai FC in their second game of the 2018 Spain Tour at the Meliá Villaitana Football Center in Benidorm, Alicante on Monday.
The Blues began the game on the offensive with Chencho Gyeltshen and Xisco Hernandez going agonizingly close in the opening ten minutes. Boithang Haokip had only the ’keeper to beat but managed to hit it straight at him. Erik Paartalu then saw a header come off the post. Shabab finally managed to push up forcing Soram Poirei into making some decent saves before new-signing Sairuat Kima conceded a penalty at the quarter hour mark. However, Poirei produced a brilliant save diving to his right to keep the scores level at 0-0.
But a defensive lapse just a minute later allowed an Ahli striker to beat Poirei from close and break the deadlock in the 16th minute. The Blues kept pushing high before finally pulling level in the 42nd minute. Xisco who continued to impress, found Udanta Singh in space who controlled the ball well before slotting it home to make it 1-1 going into the breather.
The second half began in disastrous fashion for the Blues who conceded three goals in quick succession (46th, 51st, and 54th) after some defensives errors allowed Shabab Al Ahli strikers to capitalize in the final third.
Bengaluru went close at pulling a goal back in the 79th minute when Erik Paartalu tried to dink one over the ‘keeper but the ball came off the woodwork. A minute later at the other end it was Shabab who scored their fifth with a long-range strike.
In the final minutes it was Miku, playing his first game since firing the Blues to the Super Cup title, who created a good chance only to be denied by the rival custodian, after dribbling past a host of defenders with his trademark solo run as the game ended 1-5.
Bengaluru FC now face Villarreal CF B in their third game on August 11.
Bengaluru FC XI: Poirei, Rino, Juanan, Kima, Bheke, Paartalu, Xisco, Boithang, Chencho, Udanta, Chhetri
Subs Used: Nishu, Khabra, Altamash, Miku, Semboi, Robinson, Gursimrat