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I knew my time would come: Rahul Bheke

Rahul Bheke was one of the standout performers for Bengaluru FC this past season.
Rahul Bheke was one of the standout performers for Bengaluru FC this past season.

Rahul Bheke says he got his hopes up when he learned earlier this month that Croatia's Igor Stimac had been appointed the new coach of the Indian football team. "When the ISL season ended, the news came in that the coach had been changed," says Bheke. "I felt if the new coach is there, I could get a call-up [for the national camp] and I should be ready."

Considering his performances in recent years, it's a bit of a surprise that Bheke should feel there was still some doubt over his selection. While...

Rahul Bheke the hero as Bengaluru FC win ISL in extra time

Bengaluru FCBengaluru FC
FC GoaFC Goa
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Bengaluru FC (BFC) rode on a late Rahul Bheke goal to win their maiden Indian Super League (ISL) title against 10-man FC Goa in Mumbai on Sunday. As a corner was played in deep by Dimas Delgado in the 117th minute, Bheke positioned himself perfectly to turn the ball into the top left corner beyond the Goa goalkeeper's reach. It kissed the edge of the post and crept in.

Bengaluru, who were runners-up in their maiden ISL season last year, have thus become the first team to have won the ISL after having...

Job half done for gritty NorthEast, but injuries to star players major concern for second leg

"Tough game. They are a very good side. They made it really difficult for us in both games that we faced them. Tonight won't be any different, but we have to make sure we are smarter and take something from it."

These were the prescient words of Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu ahead of his team's first leg ISL semi-final away to NorthEast United. It proved to be a difficult night indeed, but in talking about NorthEast's maiden ISL win in five attempts against BFC, it makes it imperative...

Player ratings: Jose Leudo 9/10, Harmanjot Khabra 3/10 as NorthEast break BFC jinx

NorthEast United will take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their semifinal with Bengaluru FC, thanks to Juan Mascia's injury-time penalty and a stunning opener from Redeem Tlang in the first half. NorthEast put in a stellar performance for the majority of the game, but will rue the away goal they conceded to a moment of brilliance from Sunil Chhetri, who set up Xisco Hernandez with a wonderful assist. Here are the player ratings for each team. 

NorthEast United

Positives

Dominated the first...

Bengaluru FC 2.0 promises exciting things as ISL team resumes AFC campaign

Sunil Chhetri in action with Dimas Delgado and Udanta Singh during a training session ahead of BFC's Inter-Zonal semifinal against 4.25 SC.
Sunil Chhetri in action with Dimas Delgado and Udanta Singh during a training session ahead of BFC's Inter-Zonal semifinal against 4.25 SC.

The emergence and continued excellence of Bengaluru FC (BFC) has been one of the brightest stories in Indian football across the last half a decade or so. Since their formation in 2013, BFC have won the I-League twice, become the first Indian club to reach the AFC Cup final and have distinguished themselves as the most professionally run club in the country.

Wednesday will mark a new beginning as BFC take to the field at the Kanteerava Stadium as an Indian Super League (ISL) club for the first time,...