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Highlights: Bengaluru FC fall short against Iraq Air Force Club in AFC Cup final

Hammadi Ahmed scored his 16th goal of the competition as Iraq Air Force Club defeated Bengaluru FC to clinch the 2016 AFC Cup title.

football Updated: Nov 05, 2016 23:32 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Bengaluru FC,AFC Cup final,Air Force Club of Iraq
Suad Natiq Naji (R) of Iraq's Air Force Club fights for the ball with Vineeth of India's JSW Bengaluru FC . (REUTERS)

Hammadi Ahmed scored his 16th goal of the competition as Iraq Air Force Club defeated Bengaluru FC to clinch the 2016 AFC Cup title.

11:25 PM (IST): A last ditch effort by Bengaluru FC, but it is saved by Iraq Air Force Club’s goalkeeper.

11:17 PM (IST): A golden chance falls for Bengaluru FC’s CK VIneeth could not hit the target.

11:11 PM (IST): 8 minutes to go. Iraq’s Air Force Club lead 1-0 against Bengaluru FC.

11:06 PM (IST):

11:04 PM (IST): Offside! Amjad puts the ball in the back of the net, but he made the run too early.

11:00 PM (IST): Hammidi Ahmed scores his 16th goal of the competition as Iraq Air Force Club take the lead against Bengaluru FC.

10:59 PM (IST): 70 minutes gone. Both teams are looking for that elusive goal, but no success till now.

10:54 PM (IST): Double substitution for Bengaluru FC as Doungel replaces Nishu and Udanta replaces Alwyn.

10:51 PM (IST): 

10:49 PM (IST):60 minutes gone. The score remains 0-0.

10:46 PM (IST): Another good chance for the Iraqi team, but Amjad Radhi’s shot missed the goal.

10:42 PM (IST):

10:40 PM (IST): A good effort by Iraq Air Force Club, but the stop flies over the goalpost.

10:35 PM (IST): The second half is underway at the Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium.

10:23 PM (IST): 

10:19 PM (IST): It’s halftime at the AFC Cup final and none of the teams were able to find the back of the net.

10:11 PM (IST): A brilliant attack by Iraq Air Force Club, but Ralte was able to clear the danger for Bengaluru FC.

10:05 PM (IST): Hammadi connects with a header, but misses the goal by quite some distance. After 35 minutes of play, the match remains goalless.

9:58 PM (IST): Al-Quwa Al Jawiya are forced to use their first substitution as Osama Ali replaces Humam Tareq.

9:53 PM (IST): Al-Quwa Al Jawiya have been the better side till now while attacking, but the score is still 0-0.

9:47 PM (IST): 

9:42 PM (IST): 12 minutes gone. The score remains 0-0.

9:36 PM (IST): Good start by Al-Quwa Al Jawiya as they are looking to attack from the first whistle.

9:32 PM (IST): The match is underway!

9:28 PM (IST): Bengaluru FC’s starting XI - Ralte, Rino, Juanan, Johnson, Nishu, Alvaro, Watson, Chhetri, Alwyn, Eugeneson, Vineeth.

9:25 PM (IST): A look at the starting XI for Iraq Air Force Club - Fahad, Ali-Saadi, Saad, Saeed, Majeed, Hammadi,Tareq, Kadhim, Ali Fadhil, Radhi, Zahed.

9:17 PM (IST): A huge occasion for the two-time I-League winners.

9:08 PM (IST): 

9:05 PM (IST): 

9:02 PM (IST): A special wish for Bengaluru FC from La Liga.

8:59 PM (IST): 

8:52 PM (IST): The line-ups for both the teams are here.

No Indian football team has ever reached the final of the AFC Cup. Bengaluru FC, two-time I-League champions, are a win away from creating history. The Sunil Chhetri-led team will face Iraq’s Air Force Club (Al-Quwa Al Jawiya) in what is expected to be a mouth-watering AFC Cup final.

Sunil Chhetri and several of his Indian teammates will certainly be playing the biggest game of their football career at Doha’s Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium. A win for Bengaluru FC will be a great boost for Indian clubs, many of whom are facing an uncertain future due to weak administration.

Bengaluru FC have been the face of Indian football in Asia. A professional unit coached by former Spanish footballer Albert Roca, Bengaluru FC have a 6-3 win-loss record in AFC Cup. But records will mean nothing as the Blues face an Iraqi powerhouse that has won the national title no less than 10 times.

Al-Quwa Al Jawiya (the Arabic name of Air Force Club) will be quite home to conditions in Qatar. They played their ‘home’ games in Qatar and won five of the six to top their group. They also faced West Asian teams, usually the strongest in the continent.

Bengaluru FC have the ability and the spirit to match their fancied rivals. Chhetri and Co. will do well to remember that East Bengal had thrashed Al Jawra of Iraq 6-2 in 1993 to record one of the famous wins by an Indian club.

First Published: Nov 05, 2016 20:52 IST