In his first season as Head Coach, Carles Cuadrat made things right. It was written in the stars that the summit clash of the tournament that the Blues had lost so painfully on the big stage the previous year would fall on the same day, March 17 2019.
Bengaluru began the season with an unbeaten run that stretched into the New Year and Carles Cuadrat’s men cemented their spot atop the top of the League with a 3-0 defeat of FC Goa at the Fortress. Several young players featured during the course of the season as the boss stayed true to his philosophy with the youth, giving six BFC B players their senior team debuts.
Despite being bogged back by injuries to key players Miku and Erik Paartalu, the Blues were relentless in their pursuit to make things right and it all came down to the big game in Mumbai against FC Goa; a clash between two sides that had lost the final before. Similar philosophies and styles of play came to the fore as Cuadrat took on his La Masia companion Sergio Lobera at the Mumbai Football Arena.
The Blues had overcome Eelco Schattorie’s NorthEast United in a fiercely contested two-legged semifinal, while FC Goa had comfortably cruised past Mumbai City FC to reach the grand finale. It was a battle for the ages as skipper Sunil Chhetri led his side out to the lush green. A wave of Bengaluru supporters filled the stands in anticipation, and the game would fit the billing.
Regulation time and more had been played with shots cleared off the line for both sides, before Ahmed Jahouh’s high boot on Miku saw the Moroccan given his marching orders. Sensing the opportunity to go for the kill, Cuadrat urged his Blues forward and the winner would come just moments later.
Swinging a delicate corner in from the right, Dimas Delgado played it into an area where Rahul Bheke stood unmarked. The Mumbai-boy rose high and floated his nod in off the vertical to write his name into Bengaluru folklore forever. 117 minutes had passed before the goal, and the wait was worth it. A year to the day the Blues let their tears drop to the turf, Cuadrat and his men lifted the cup as Mumbai’s March mist settled behind them. Bengaluru FC were Champions of India once again!
Gurpreet, Poirei, Patra, Bheke, Serran, Kima, Juanan, Rino, Nishu, Gursimrat, Asheer, Parag, Myron, Dimas, Boithang, Xisco, Khabra, Paartalu, Ajay, Luisma, Kean, Barrera, Altamash, Bidyananda, Chhetri, Miku, Udanta, Chencho, Semboi, Edmund
Head Coach: Carles Cuadrat