Tag Archives: JSW

AFC Cup 2016 Final – Know thy opponent : Through the words of an Iraqi Football expert

Air Force Club, JSW, Bengaluru FC, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, AFC Cup, 2016, Doha, Qatar, Sunil Chhetri, Hammadi, Star Sports, Football, Indian Football, Soccer, IraqThe big day is here. It is a momentous occasion for Indian Football as Bengaluru FC takes on Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya or the Air Force Club of Iraq as they are known in the AFC Cup 2016 final. Since there was a dearth of information on today’s opponent, I decided to get in touch with an Iraqi football expert to know more about Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. I asked a few questions to football writer Hassanin Mubarak and here are his replies. Read on!

What’s is Air Force Club’s style of play?

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are an attacking side playing two forward up-front, with Hamadi Ahmed and the returning Amjad Radhi, one of the most prolific strikers in the Iraqi league in current times who is attempting to regain his old form. The little and large combination of Hamadi and Amjad were once the best two front-pairing in Iraq until Amjad left for Arbil in 2010. The striker wearing the No.40 for Al-Jawiya was top scorer in this tournament in 2012 with 9 goals. Amjad has spent the last couple of seasons in Saudi Arabia and Egypt without much success and while he was Al-Jawiya’s main forward during his last spell at the club, Hamadi has now taken on that mantle with Amjad being the second striker. Basim Qasim also has Emad Muhsin if needed. Al-Jawiya’s goals will depend a lot on the ability of the wide-men to create in the final third, the hopes of victory will rest heavily on the shoulders of Humam Tariq and 15-goal hit man Hamadi Ahmed.

Their Strong points and weakness according to you?

Al-Jawiya relies a great deal on the presence of Hamadi Ahmed, their main goalscorer and attacking threat. The new coach Basim Qasim appointed in the summer has not changed either the style or team formation since taking charge, however, they have proved to be resilient under the former Police Lieutenant and are unbeaten in the first six games under him. Basim Qasim will, however, have to reshuffle the ranks with the absence of center back Samal Saeed and winger Bashar Resan, two key players who will be suspended for the final. Bashar will be a significant loss, with the team balance on the wings with Humam Tariq on the opposite flank interrupted, with both players having the talent to switch flanks throughout matches. While Basim Qasim has a ready-made replacement for Samal Saeed, in Saad Natiq, however the coach does not have that luxury with a replacement for Bashar. One solution would be to start Hulgard Mulla Mohammed, the brother of the retired wing wizard Hawar. He is a different proposition for defenders compared to the pacy and tricky Bashar Resan. Hulgard does not possess the speed he once had but the versatile two-footed attacking midfielder can play on the wings or in central midfield. But the absence of Bashar will be a substantial miss for Al-Jawiya.

Are they going to play the same way in the final or are you expecting a cagey game from them? Who are all the players to watch out?

I expect Al-Jawiya will play their usual game in Doha and go out and score goals. It could be a cagey and cautious final if the game remains goalless. The key players will be Humam Tariq out on the wings and Hamadi Ahmed, they could be the winning formula for Al-Jawiya.

Are you expecting to see a lot of fans in Doha supporting the Air Force club?

There won’t be many Iraqi fans traveling and a majority of the supporting contingent will be expatriates living in the tiny Gulf state.

What’s the talk among the Iraqi football fans about Bengaluru FC?

Little is known about Bengaluru FC among both the Iraqi fans and the Al-Jawiya players but with both teams in a final, the opposition will be respected. 23 years ago Al-Zawraa, one of the most successful clubs in Iraqi football history were humiliated 6-2 by the East Bengal Club so Iraqis will be wary of this very fact.

Follow Hassanin Mubarak on Twitter here.

You can read his extensive preview of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya here.

Bengaluru FC announces plans for Residential Academy

bengaluru fc, academy, grassroots, bellary, john kila, vijayanagar,

(L-R) Bengaluru FC Chief Technical Officer Mandar Tamhane, Head of Youth Development John Kila and Chief Operating Officer Mustafa Ghouse at the press conference held at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday.

Club To Scout In Various Parts Of The Country Starting With Bengaluru; Academy To Be Set Up In Vijayanagar, Bellary

Bengaluru: JSW Bengaluru FC, on Wednesday, revealed its plans of a full-fledged residential academy at the JSW Township in Vijayanagar, Bellary, at a press conference addressed by club COO Mustafa Ghouse, CTO Mandar Tamhane and new Head of Youth Development John Kila at the club offices at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

The club will conduct trials in five different locations across the country – Bengaluru, Kerala, Mizoram, Punjab and Chandigarh – in the Under-16 (January 2000 to December 2003) and Under-18 (January 1998 to December 1999) age categories. The shortlisted players will then be put through a final round of trials in Bengaluru after which the selected players will relocate to the academy in Bellary.

The Bengaluru leg of trials will be held from July 23 to July 30 at the Bangalore Football Stadium and interested players can register and obtain further information on the official BFC website,www.bengalurufc.com or on the club’s social media platforms. The dates of trials at the other venues will be announced shortly.

The fully-funded youth development program, which will be overseen by Kila, will provide for the players’ accommodation, education and nutrition.

“Youth Development has always been a part of the club’s philosophy and a residential academy is something we’ve wanted to put in place for quite a while now. John (Kila) comes with a rich experience of having implemented youth programs at various clubs and we are sure that under his guidance, our youngsters will progress through the ranks and make it to the club’s first team and in time, the Indian National Football Team as well,” said Ghouse.

With licensed coaches, physiotherapists, professionals in strength and conditioning and sports science, the BFC Academy will work in tandem with the club’s first team. With regards to the infrastructure, the facility comprises a full-length sand-based football pitch equipped with floodlights, a gymnasium and a swimming pool.

Kila, meanwhile, expressed his excitement at the project. “It is a privilege to be a part of this club as we are looking to put our youth in the first team, which I am very excited about. The BFC residential academy and talent hunt is a fantastic project and I am looking forward to working with the coaches and players,” said Kila.

I-league to Kickoff on January 17, 2015 in Bengaluru

ileague, football, india, soccer, league, bengaluruFollowing are the main decisions of the I-League and Federation Cup Committee meeting that took place today.

  • To kick-off on January 17th in Bengaluru
  • 75 out of the 110 league matches to be telecast by Ten Sports.
  • Web streaming of the matches to be available.
  • Registration of players will be done centrally through states associations.
  • Further discussions will be held on whether Goal Keeping coach can be seated on the bench during the match.
  • AIFF will monitor practice sessions of I-league Clubs.
  • Only A-License holders will be allowed to conduct coaching and training.
  • Coaches without A-license will not be allowed sit on the bench or even enter the dressing room on a match day.
U-15 League
  • To be a 16 team affair that would kickoff in the next calendar year.
  • Teams from 10  I-league clubs, 4 other academies and two AIFF academies will take part in the tournament.
  • Coca-Cola would be a sponsor for the tournament.
I-league 2nd Division
  • To take place in two venues which are not yet finalised.
  • 8 participating teams Clubs are
    • Aizawl FC
    • Chanmari FC
    • United Sports Club
    • Mohammedan Sporting
    • PIFA Sports
    • Kenkre Sports
    • Hindustan FC
    • Lonestar Kashmir FC.
I-league U-19
  • To kick-off in 2nd week of December.

I-League Bangalored!

Even though the term Bangalored has a negative connotation to it, when you see what unfolded in the 2013-2014 I-league season, it is pretty much obvious that Bengaluru FC Bangalored the I-league title. Since its inception in 2007, I-league has been synonymous to the victory of Goan clubs. In 2013-14 season, Bengaluru FC smoothly captured the reigns and brought the title home!

Bengaluru FC, I-league, Indianfootball, Bangalore, Football, SoccerWhen Bengaluru FC backed by JSW was announced in July 2013, two tasks were in front of them. Of course building competitive team would have been the first priority, but the second wouldn’t have been that easy. Bangalore is a football loving city, when local clubs like ITI and HAL play, a good number of crowd is present in the stadium cheering these teams. The  challenge in front of the newly formed Bengaluru FC would have been to appease the traditional football crowd and attract a new gamut of crowd who are mainly followers of European football. With 23 matches into the league and the title in pocket, it is obvious that Bengaluru FC managed this fete with aplomb. With promotions, smart tie-ups and social media presence, the club managed an average attendance of 7500 in every home match.

The team, captained by national captain Sunil Chhetri also lived up to the expectations. When the club was formed in July, there were not many players to choose from as other clubs had already snapped up players. However, shrewd recruitment and excellent coaching from Ashley Westwood saw many players who were earlier bench-warming with other clubs rise to the occasion.  Players like Beikhokhei Beingaichho, Darren Caldeira and Thoi Singh are prime examples. While all other I-league clubs hired and fired overseas players all through the season, Bengaluru FC’s foreign contingent has been top performers for the team.

With high attendance on even week-days, Bengaluru FC with their vociferous supporters madeBengaluru FC, Crowd, Indianfootball, Soccer, I-league, Football, JSW, Jindal, Steelmen the home turf an impregnable fortress.  Of the twelve home matches, they lost a match, drew four and won all others. Though there were frailties in away matches, the team managed to rope in victories while traveling too. With winning the I-league title, AFC Champions League matches will be on cards for Bangalore.

Bengaluru FC has been a fresh whiff of air in the otherwise morose footballing scene in India. It is almost like after the team was formed they never put a foot wrong. Let us hope Bengaluru FC’s success is emulated by other I-league clubs by reinventing themselves.

Bengaluru FC’s Long road to I-league 2013-14 title

Bengaluru FC, Indianfootball, I-league, Football, Soccer, league, Bangalore, Matches, JSW, Jindal, Steel, Sunil Chhetri, Ashley Westwood, Pradhyum Reddy

Bengaluru FC vs Dempo SC : In Football the Ball Scores

Bengaluru FC – Dempo Sports Club

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Guest column by by Yogesh Maurya (Football coach). Yogesh talks about Bengaluru Fc’s tactics they employed against Dempo Sc

Bengaluru FC, I-leagueWithin 12 minutes of the opening whistle, Bengaluru FC  had scored what would prove to be the game winner, and on balance of play, the final result of 3-1 to BFC was well deserved.  Technically, if we look at the first 2 goals, Dempo failed to step up and challenge the ball despite multiple players having opportunities to do so.   Remember, when we say the ball scores in football, we simply are reminding ourselves that it is the ball that crosses the goal line when a goal is scored.  Sounds simple right? Well despite all the tactical punditry that engulfs our beautiful game today, the actual decisive plays in the moment come down to often simple choices and actions. So if the defending team does not challenge attempts at goal, especially against a team with the finishing talent of BFC, one would not be a tactical genius in telling you that it is a risky approach.

To our technical fraternity that likes breakdowns…here we go: BFC was in their usual 4:3:3 formation, with Menyongar as the single holding midfielder. Dempo was in a 4:2:3:1, the difference to BFC’s formation being the two holding midfielders we often call a double pivot.  So what that translates into is BFC’s  front five of Rooney, Chhetri, Beingaicho, Hanghal and Caldeira against Dempo’s back six.  5 v 6 means Dempo has a free man, which often was one of Dempo SC, I-league, Football, India, Indianfootballthe centre halves in Honda or Colosimo.  How does it help to have the extra man? The extra man is often ineffective to say the least if defences do not rotate when there is a breakdown and step up to the ball…translation, if the defence stands around and ball watches, and backs off of players giving them too much room, they will be conceding more often than not at this level.

The First Goal:

Let’s look at the first goal. Firstly, absolutely brilliantly struck by Hanghal into the top corner.   Great technique and composure on the half volley; settled the ball with one touch, kept his knee over the ball, balanced his body with his left arm, and locked his ankle in a fluid strike. It is awesome to see that type of execution live! Striking a football clean, with pace and in the right direction is very similar to a beautiful fluid golf swing…if you over swing, the ball often ends up with the wrong trajectory and distance…same in football.  But, from the other side, Dempo has to be disappointed as not less than 4 players could have confronted the strike but chose to give Hanghal way too much room.

Contrast that with Johnson and Osano…have we seen them backing off especially that close to goal? Not once. I will always take a defender that has the confidence to stand up to an attacker aggressively and may get beat, as opposed to one that backs off because he is unsure of himself.  Let’s go even deeper in the sequence of events that lead to the goal…first mistake by Honda: allows Rooney to receive the ball inside the 18 yard box on a bounced throw-in.  Second mistake, Players watching Rooney and not anticipating.  Colosimo clears the header which lands at Sanghal.  3rd mistake…repeat of the 2nd mistake…players watch Hanghal settle the ball and strike.  When Hanghal struck the ball, not even including the goalkeeper, Dempo had 8 players in or at the top of the box compared to Bengaluru FC’s 4!

The Second Goal:

On the second goal, the first error by Dempo was letting the ball bounce like that again near the 18 yard box despite having six players back and four behind the ball! Even after the bounce, instead of attacking the ball and clearing it, Dempo’s right back allowed Chhetri to challenge him.  Contrast with BFC. When do Johnson and Osano ever let a ball bounce? Have yet to see it.  The results are clear. After the keeper makes a brilliant save on Chhetri, the ball ends up with Rooney at the top of the box and an absolutely clinical finish!  Look at the numbers…Dempo had four players in the box compared to BFC’s two! Just outside the box, Dempo has three players back compared to BFC with one midfielder high.

The Third Goal:

On the third goal, more of the same. Honda backed off Caldeira who was able to play Rooney through…Rooney again makes no mistake (though I am sure he will be the first one to tell you the keeper gave him way too much of the far post). Doesn’t mean it’s easy! Yes, Dempo seemed a step behind compared to BFC who started aggressively and hungry as usual.   BFC has scored first in every single match this year.  Credit to the coaching staff for their role in having the players ready from the opening whistle…that is the result of loads of preparation behind the scenes, not some accident and random luck.

Post scripts:

Key midfield battle :

Hanghal and Caldeira winning out versus Dempo’s No. 6 Carvalho and No. 23 Raja.

John Menyongar :

Have not seen the stat book, but my ticker has that he did not turn the ball over a single time even successfully completing some of his riskier passes.

Sunil Chetri :


Liked the spring in his step and desire that created the 2nd goal…and he mixed it up. Though his yellow card seemed harsh, didn’t mind him showing that competitive fire all match long.  Possibly his best performance this year as his National Coach – Wim Koevermans looked on.

Pawan Kumar :

What he lacks in height he must make up with positioning and footwork…just misjudged the ball on the goal by Dempo…for any goalkeeper, on any type of crosses, the most important factor is to be decisive.  Once committed, he still might have gotten to it but in his doubt, he forgot to jump and instead peddled back when it was too late.  No problem as I can assure you it has happened to much taller goalkeepers!  The coaches will work on that in training.

BFC begin a run of road matches.  Much is made of away games being more difficult than home games…the lack of fan support, the travel…but it is all a matter of perception. Whether or not the crowd is rooting for the player, the fact that there is a crowd, and an energy, it gives players a lift. And the travel? It allows the team to be together and focus without the distractions that often come along with home games. So it is really about how you interpret your environment, not how the environment interprets you! …it is still a football match with two nets and 22 players!

Yogesh Maurya :

Football Yogi- Article 1-edited (1)

Yogesh Maurya played Collegiate soccer for Columbia University in New York and was a United States High School All American, representing New Jersey in the US Olympic development program. In the last 4 years alone, he has spent over 3000 hours on and off the pitch coaching and studying tactics and youth player development.  

Bengaluru FC I-League match tickets available on Bookmyshow.com

Bengaluru_FC_LogoTickets for the I-league matches of Bengaluru FC that will take place at the Sri Kanteerava Stadium is now available for purchase on bookmyshow.com.

Tickets are definitely affordable and starts from Rs. 40 and the costliest one priced at Rs.1200.

This is a  great initiative to attract fans from the IT city, who also wouldn’t want to take the hassles of purchasing tickets at the stadium counter.


Buy I-League match tickets Bengaluru FC :  Bookmyshow