Bengaluru FC began their 2018 Spain Tour with a 1-2 loss to Atlético Saguntino in their first friendly game at the Masia La Grava facility in Alboraya, Valencia on Friday, August 3.
In a fiercely contested encounter, it was Saguntino who took an early lead through striker David Fas who capitalized on goalkeeper Soram Poirei’s error and slotted home in the 7th minute. While the Blues created chances through new signing Xisco Hernandez, they lacked the killer finish in the final third going into the break with a one-goal deficit.
Bengaluru FC returned with a renewed vigor in the second half and dominated proceedings in the opening quarter. Back-to-back saves from Poirei gave the Blues confidence who pushed up and got the equaliser. Playmaker Dimas Delgado, who played his first game after being taken off for an injury in the Indian Super League final in March, was on target, finishing off Udanta Singh’s pass to make it 1-1 in the 53rd minute.
The Blues continued to create a few chances, most notably through Xisco who continued to impress on his debut. However, it was Saguntino who managed to break down the Bengaluru FC defence and score the winner in the 84th minute when a cross from the left was nodded home.
Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat said he was pleased with the performance ahead of the tougher tests the Blues will face the coming ten days. “We’ve been working hard all these days and these games are an opportunity for us to try on the pitch what we have been training for. It’s important to give an opportunity to all the players. We have a mix in the team where a few players have got a lot of game time while there are those who haven’t competed professionally. I was happy with the performance in the game against Saguntino because for large periods, we played the football we have been training for, and we gave a good account of ourselves against a tough opponent.”
Apart from Xisco who made his first start for the Blues, Poirei and Rino Anto started their first games in their second spell as well. Meanwhile, Chencho Gyeltshen, Altamash Sayed, Asheer Akhtar, Bidyananda Singh and Aditya Patra came on in the second half along with Gursimrat Singh Gill.
Bengaluru next face UAE Pro League side Shabab Al Ahli Dubai FC on August 6.