Connect with us

Bengaluru FC

Analysis : Bengaluru FC utilize space in midfield and wide areas to overcome Maziya S&RC


A new chapter in Bengaluru FC’s short history was written as they took on Maziya S&RC in their opening AFC Cup group stage fixture. In an entertaining game, Bengaluru FC dominated proceedings but failed to make it pay owing largely to some profligate finishing. Arnab Ray explores just how the home side made an encouraging AFC Cup debut.

The West Block Bengaluru FC football blog


While the AFC Champions League remains a peak yet to be scaled by an Indian club, Asia’s 2nd tier competition the AFC Cup has been a bit more accommodating. Indian clubs have tasted a certain amount of success in the recent past in the AFC Cup with East Bengal notably making it to the semi-finals in the 2013 edition, losing to eventual winners Al-Kuwait.

Having failed to overcome Malaysian side JDT in the Champions League qualifier, Bengaluru FC dropped into the AFC Cup and started their campaign against Maldives side Maziya Sports and Recreation Club at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Both coaches admitted that they weren’t perhaps quite sure what to expect from their opponents heading into the game. As a result both sides stuck to their respective game plans as they looked to make a positive start to their campaigns.

Maziya S&RC were set-up in a conventional 4-2-3-1 and contrary to the traditional approach of away teams looked to take the game to Bengaluru FC. They weren’t shy of committing men in attack and pressed high throughout the first half in order to stifle the home side. The below graphic shows the general pressing scheme of the away side. The striker and the 3 attacking midfielders behind him were quick to try and intercept the ball high up the pitch when not in possession. In addition to the 4 attacking players, one of the 2 deeper midfielders joined in with the press in order to prevent the home side from playing the ball out from the back.

FORMATION 1

Employing an active press high up the pitch was a brave move from the away side but one that perhaps played into the hands of the Indian Champions. Bengaluru FC’s main source of goals in the early stages of the I-League season has been from the midfield with new boy Eugeneson Lyngdoh being the club’s top scorer in the league. The willingness of the 2 pressing midfielders, as Ashley Westwood likes to refer to them, to make forward runs and join the attack has been a key element of their attack. John Johnson and Curtis Osano were not afraid to play quick vertical passes especially with Robin Singh playing upfront given his ability to hold up play with his back to goal. Having committed to the high press, Maziya were simply unable to close down space for the home side’s midfielders.

The below graphic shows an example of the space offered to the midfielders. The home side caught Maziya in possession and transitioned quickly committing bodies in attack. The Maziya midfielders were unable to make up the ground and as seen clearly out of position unable to provide protection to their back 4. Unfortunately for the home side, Lyngdoh could not drive home the advantage as his effort went over.

There are as many as 3 unmarked BFC players (circled in red) in plenty of space

There are as many as 3 unmarked BFC players (circled in red) in plenty of space

The above wasn’t an isolated incident by any means as the Blues were able to play their way past Maziya’s pressing scheme or simply bypass it altogether through accurate vertical passes. To their credit, Maziya did address the situation and became more aware in defensive transitions as the midfield duo in particular focused on getting back into defensive positions.

Bengaluru FC responded to this though as with the central area now more crowded, the focus of the attack shifted to the wider areas especially the right hand side. Beikhokhei Beingaichho is more of a traditional winger who looks to stay out wide and Rino Anto is certainly not shy of making overlapping runs from his right-back position. Indeed it was Rino’s cross that found Sunil Chhetri at the back post for the opening goal of the game. Of course this was just a precursor to the late drama that unfolded in the game with a late Maziya penalty and a Shankar Sampingiraj injury time winner ensuring that the fans got their money’s worth.

Talent Radar representative Shankar has a night to remember

The lanky 20 year-old delivered an eye-catching performance against Shillong Lajong. However he struggled against one of the I-League’s best wingers Sony Norde against Mohun Bagan. Shankar was continuously out-paced by the Haitian as the latter chalked up 2 goals and an assist in a 4-1 victory. However, Westwood showed faith in the youngster as he kept his spot in the side albeit in a different role as one of the aforementioned pressing midfielders. An injury to Joshua Walker though saw Shankar slot into the deep-lying playmaker role, one in which he acquitted himself well without doing anything particularly eye-catching. His moment arrived 3 minutes into injury time as he rose to put away an in-swinging cross to seal 3 points and send the crowd into rapture. A dramatic goal from a young local player was almost the perfect way to seal the club’s AFC Cup debut.


Written by Arnab Ray

Arnab Ray

Arnab Ray

Arnab is an opinionated Bengaluru FC and Manchester United fan. Always up for a good football discussion/ petty argument.
Arnab Ray

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar2 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Reiss Nelson feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar2 months ago

Talent Radar: A-League’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Brian Bertie writes about the 10 young players to watch in this season’s A-League. Australia have made rapid strides forward...

Interviews2 months ago

Interview: Abneet Bharti on Indian footballers abroad

SU Sintrense defender, Abneet Bharti, the only Indian footballer to be plying his trade in Europe, talks to Kaustubh Pandey...

Talent Radar2 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Matthias De Ligt & James Maddison feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions2 months ago

Borja Fernandez: The underappreciated genius of ISL’s infancy

On the eve of the latest edition of the ISL, Arinjay Ghosh pays a tribute to Borja Fernandez, an ISL...

Opinions3 months ago

Tactical Philosophy: Domenico Tedesco

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Tactical Analysis3 months ago

Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Liverpool edge deserved victory against dysfunctional PSG

Siyang Xu writes a detailed tactical analysis about the UEFA Champions League match that ended Liverpool 3-2 PSG. Liverpool faced...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Matthias De Ligt & Ousmane Dembele feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions3 months ago

UEFA Champions League: The 5 hipster sides to follow this season

Gear up with your organic ginger ale and mystical moustache oil, as Richard Pike briefs us about 5 off beat...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Maxi Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions3 months ago

Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Miles Olusina writes about Maurizio Sarri and the approach he is likely to take at Chelsea. Despite a successful 2016/17...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Bertrand Traore feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #1: Joe Gomez & Kylian Mbappe feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions4 months ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions4 months ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar4 months ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar4 months ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this