Indian Football

Bengaluru FC vs Istiklol live: 10-man Blues earn 2-2 draw but crash out of AFC Cup on aggregate

Rahul Bheke cancelled an early penalty through Davronov as Gurpreet conceded a spot-kick within the first two minutes.

Full-time and it’s ended 2-2 on the night. Istiklol reach the final on aggregate as JSW Bengaluru FC fall short on the night.

It was always going to be a tight affair with the Tajik team leading 1-0 from the first leg but Harmanjot Khabra’s reckless sending off really did the damage to the Blues. Sunil Chhetri did equalise through a penalty in the second half but it was always going to be an uphill task to score two goals with a man short.

Good night from Bengaluru and join us next time as we kick off the I-League and ISL seasons!

90: Five minutes of added time as Istiklol are on the cusp of a second final in three years. Bengaluru have fought valiantly but their AFC Cup 2017 dream is coming to an end.

81: Chhetri is furious as Dzhalilov brings Udanta Singh down. The Tajik defender is already in the book and it did look like a yellow card challenge but the referee doesn’t show the card. Istiklol retain their man advantage in Bengaluru.

72: Roca has played his last hand as Boithang Haokip and Alwyn George come on for Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Nishu Kumar. Last throw of the dice by the home team and it’s now or never for BFC.

70: Lots of time-wasting by Istiklol here, frustrating the home team. This game is anything but over, you feel, as Bengaluru need two goals and are pushing men forward, without a second thought to the defence.

61: What drama at the Kanteerava! Daniel Lalhlimpuia is brought down in the box and the referee points to the spot.

Sunil Chhetri steps up and confidently slots it away. Mind you, they still need two more goals to progress but the score is level on the night, 2-2.

57: Game, set and match!

Dmitry Barkov scores the easiest goal he’ll get all season. He has two goals now in the tie. It was coming as Bengaluru had to go for the jugular, down by a man and were left wide open. Suspicions of offside there as Juan Antonio is booked for his vociferous protests to the referee.

53: First change of the night for Bengaluru, as Lenny Rodrigues is sacrificed for Toni Dovale. Roca going for broke now as the Spaniard realises it’s now or never.

46: We have kick-off in the second half at Bengaluru as Istiklol have gone for an interesting change.

Clearly, the Tajiks smell blood here and Amirbek, a striker comes on.

Bengaluru have been fluent but have not finished their chances as Chhetri hit the crossbar. But two moments of clumsiness, first Gurpreet’s challenge for the penalty and then Khabra’s challenge, have more or less knocked them out of the competition.

As for Khabra, we have seen this tendency in the right-back before but the tackle was unrequired, the winger wasn’t going anywhere, he just prodded the ball and the BFC right-back took the bait. Silly but he had to go as per the laws of the game.

Half-time and difficult to see a way back for Bengaluru.

The task was difficult before Khabra’s sending-off but it will take a miracle with 10 men. Can Albert Roca pull a rabbit out of his hat?

40: Harmanjot Khabra is sent off for a second yellow!

Oh dear, the right-back with a clumsy challenge as the Blues go down to 10 men. The mountain has just become Everest as they need two goals and need to defend for 50 minutes. The Kanteerava has pin-drop silence.

38: Excellent cross by Khabra but Chhetri and Dimas Delgado get in each other’s way as the ball goes out for a free-kick as the two players clash with each other.

Almost a year to this day, Bengaluru pulled off a 3-1 win over defending champions Johor Baru of Malaysia to make it to the finals. Read our recollections from that day.

30: Chhetri hits the crossbar! Unlucky for the BFC skipper. Goes close to giving Bengaluru the lead on the night.

24: Rahul Bheke scores for Bengaluru! Udanta Singh puts a cross in as ‘Javelin Arms’ Bheke equalises for the Blues.

It’s 1-1 at the Kanteerava here as Bengaluru still need two more goals to qualify for the final.

20: Bengaluru have their first corner and Daniel’s up there. Short corner played but is of no avail. 20 minutes in and Istiklol lead 2-0 on aggregate and 1-0 on the night.

3: And they condede! Davronov’s shot is powerful and Gurpreet gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out. Three minutes in and Bengaluru need three to progress now. What will Roca and BFC do from here?

2: Gurpreet with a charge and brings the Istiklol player down as the referee points to the spot. This is early trouble for the home team.

We have kick-off in Bengaluru here! The home team in Blue play left to right.

The West Block Blues have a clear message for the team.
The West Block Blues have a clear message for the team.

Welcome to the action from the Sree Kanteerava Stadium where Bengaluru FC trail 1-0 from the first leg of their AFC Cup Inter-Zonal final.

Visitors Istiklol were the 2015 finalists, as Bengaluru lost in the summit clash to Air Force Club in last year’s final. Air Force have already made it to this year’s final.

Albert Roca makes two changes to the line-up that lost in Dushanbe. Harmanjot Khabra and Daniel Lalhlimpuia come in for Collin Abranches and Antonio Dovale as Roca opts for a 4-3-3 formation.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.