Ozone FC, the new boys in Bengaluru are grabbing all the headlines away from the city’s major club, Bengaluru FC; this time, by beating Bengaluru FC 1-0 in a friendly and etching away at the I-League club’s status of being the premier club in Bengaluru.
Having already won the Bangalore Super Division in 2015 in their debut season, Ozone FC’s win came as no surprise. The club had finished miles ahead of Bengaluru FC at the top of the local league table in 2015, and continues to make inroads towards a national league representation.
The game was a tight one, to be fair to Bengaluru FC. Ozone scored the solitary goal of the match in the first half through Sathish. It only meant that Bengaluru FC would then have to dig deep in the second half and find the equalizer, which never came.
Despite having the majority of the possession, Bengaluru couldn’t find the breakthrough that would see them go level. They had plenty of chances, but no one to take them. Even the talismanic Sunil Chhetri, who started up front for the Blues couldn’t make the net bulge this time.
Bengaluru FC were in fact lucky to get away with just a 1-0 score line. Late in the second half, Ozone got a penalty for a foul on Zakeer after Ozone FC broke away on a counter. Zakeer himself stepped up to take it, but couldn’t convert from the spot.
Bengaluru started with three of the four foreigners in their ranks. New signings Alvaro Rubio and Cameron Watson started in midfield. But, the duo failed to make a game-changing impact. Blues’ favourite John Johnson also started in the heart of the Bengaluru defense.
This was head coach Albert Roca’s second defeat since taking over. The former Barcelona assistant coach saw his side beat local teams, Army Green 3-0 and MEG 4-0 in the first two friendlies. While, a 2-1 defeat to DSK Shivajians three days ago has been hard to recover from for the Blues; the AFC Cup quarter final match up against Tampines Rovers in a fortnight’s time will be the real test of resolve for Bengaluru.