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Roca's Bengaluru FC come of age in Cuttack

Bengaluru FC celebrate their fourth title in four years

It was exactly 50 days ago that Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca had made a bold gambit in an I-League match away to Mohun Bagan. With chances of his club retaining their league title only mathematical by then, he chose to keep his big guns fresh ahead of an away AFC Cup game three days later, resting Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Harmanjot Khabra in a match where Bagan were eager to win and stay in the title chase. Bengaluru lost that match 3-0, but went on to win six on the bounce. 

Sunday's...

India U-17 World Cup team beat Italy 2-0

Indian players celebrate the victory against Italy.

The Indian U-17 World Cup squad, that is preparing for the U-17 World Cup, defeated the Italian Lega Pro U-17 team 2-0 on Friday. 

India's opponents comprised of youth players from clubs in Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2, the third and fourth tiers of Italian football, respectively.

Strikes from Abhijit Sarkar (31') and Rahul Praveen (80') led the team to a morale-boosting win months before the U-17 World Cup that starts in October later this year. Italy, who are not among the five UEFA qualifying...

The best coaches in Indian football

Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto (second from left) with Aizawl FC's Khalid Jamil.
Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto (second from left) with Aizawl FC's Khalid Jamil.

On Sunday, India's domestic season comes to a close with the Federation Cup final, between Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru. The season's highlight has obviously been Aizawl's I-League title win but a second narrative has been the dominant role of coaches in their teams' performances. A good time, then, for ESPN to look at the four best coaches in Indian football today.

Khalid Jamil

The CV: Jamil moved from being captain of Mumbai FC to its head coach in 2009 when injuries cut short his playing career...

Indian football team's friendly against Lebanon cancelled

The friendly against Lebanon was intended to serve as preparation for the Indian team's AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
The friendly against Lebanon was intended to serve as preparation for the Indian team's AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign.

New Delhi -- The Indian football team's international friendly against Lebanon, which was scheduled to be played in Mumbai on June 7, has been cancelled after the West Asian nation pulled out, citing problems in the procurement of visas for its players.

The Lebanon match was intended to serve as a build-up for India's crucial Asian Cup Qualifiers game against Kyrgyzstan on June 13 in Bengaluru. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has said it was looking for a replacement country but it's...

Depleted BFC eye three points against Bagan in AFC Cup

Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru will also play the Fed Cup final on May 21.

Mohun Bagan host Bengaluru FC in their AFC Cup Group E match at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on May 17 -- their fifth meeting this season in all competitions -- with a lot more at stake for 2016 runners-up Bengaluru than for the home side.

Here's what you must keep in mind ahead of the clash between the two Indian clubs, who will feature again in the Federation Cup final on May 21 in Cuttack.

So how is the AFC Cup different this season?

The AFC Cup format, which took two teams from the group stages...