A sign of things to come?

A sign of things to come?

A sign of things to come?

Their first game in the Indian Super League (ISL) gave glimpses of what one could expect from Bengaluru FC this season.  

Up against the best performing side in the league stages from the previous edition, Mumbai City FC, the Albert Roca-coached side showed no inhibitions displaying their attacking might on Sunday evening. With 56 percent possession of their name, the Bengaluru outfit not only controlled the game but also put the Mumbai defense under immense pressure with their attacks.

Though the Mumbaikars held their ground until the hour mark, nothing on the night could stop the swift pass and move game by the Bengaluru unit. The home team completed as many as 447 passes and had a crack at the Mumbai goal seven times,  though just two found a way past Amrinder Singh in the Mumbai goal.  2-0 is definitely a satisfying result. But the manner in which Bengaluru dominated the proceedings, a lot more was left to be desired. However, Roca expressed his satisfaction at starting the league with a win and downplayed the fact that they did not score more goals.  "I am just happy to win, believe me," he said.

"Big teams also fail to score sometimes. Real Madrid right now is also having problems to score. They (Mumbai) had good defenders. Yes, it is just a question of creating more chances and taking advantage of that. Today was good but we have to work on this. We have good strikers, but what we want is a balance between defense and attack. We did that well today and because of that we won."

For the past three years in the I-League, Bengaluru was forced to have just four foreigners on the field at any given time. But this year, the switch to ISL meant that Roca could field  an extra man and have three on the bench, a change that he made the most of.  

The summer saw Bengaluru rope in as many as six new faces among the foreigners while retaining their backbone in John Johnson and Juan Gonzales from the last season. While one of the six, Edu Garcia made a perfect start to his life at Bengaluru with a goal on debut, others, especially  Nicolás Ladislao Fedor Flores aka Miku proved his worth with a quality show on the night.

The Venezuelan might got have got a goal to show on the opening night, but his presence made life difficult for the Mumbai outfit as he used his experience well to create an opening for others or even be the provider for some. Skipper Sunil Chhetri once went whisker wide of the goal from a lofted ball from Miku while the likes of Lenny Rodrigues and Harmanjot Khabra enjoyed room to operate in the attacking third with the  Venezuelan holding off the defenders and putting his tall frame to good use. "He (Miku) is an outstanding player," said Roca assessing Miku post the game.

"He has played for a long time in the Spanish league, so we expect him to perform like he did today, on a regular basis. He was not scoring but you could see that around him all the other players tend to do better. He will be an important player for us in the upcoming games," added Roca.