Panaji, January 31: Bengaluru FC has carved a niche for itself in Indian football ever since its inception in 2013 through its professional outlook and long-term vision.
The club has already won two I-League titles (including one in the debut season), two Federation Cup titles and one Hero Indian Super League title, besides becoming the first Indian club to reach the AFC Cup final.
That said, East Bengal has traditionally held the upper hand over Bengaluru FC, leading the head-to-head record 7-4 (11 matches). No wonder the rivalry between the Red-and-Golds and the Blues has become one of the marquee clashes in Indian football of late.
In this article, we look back at the red-and-gold brigade's seven victories against BFC before the two sides meet again in their second-leg Hero ISL clash at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on 2 February.
2013/14 I-League (first-leg) – 2-0
The Red-and-Golds faced the Blues for the first time on 26 October 2013, in the first-leg I-League clash at the Kalyani Stadium. Bengaluru FC went into the match riding a five-match unbeaten streak (including four wins), but suffered their first-ever defeat as East Bengal sealed a 2-0 win, courtesy an own-goal by Robin Singh in the 49th minute and an injury-time strike from James Moga.
2013/14 I-League (second-leg) - 2-0
Picture Courtesy: gcsstars.com
The first-leg scoreline was repeated in the reverse fixture between the two sides at the Bangalore Football Stadium on 15 December 2013. Moga and Chidi Edeh scored a goal each to end BFC's four-match unbeaten run and hand the Red-and-Golds their fifth victory that season. Marcos Falopa was East Bengal's coach back then.
2013/14 Federation Cup - 2-0
The first Federation Cup meeting between East Bengal and Bengaluru FC took place at the MDS Complex, Manjeri on 21 January 2014. East Bengal once again triumphed over the Sunil Chhetri-led side 2-0, thanks to a brace from Chidi. However, both teams failed to progress to the knockouts as Sporting Clube de Goa topped their group.
2014/15 I-League (first-leg) - 1-0
East Bengal secured theirtfourth straight win against Bengaluru FC by beating them 1-0 in the first-leg of I-League 2014/15 at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan on 28 January 2015. Midfielder Abhinas Ruidas scored the winner in the 53rd minute to ensure his side's first win that season.
2016-17 I-League (first-leg) -2-1
Robin Singh celebrates after scoring the winner. Picture Courtesy: AIFF
On 22 January 2017, East Bengal got back to winning ways against Bengaluru FC by registering a 2-1 victory in the first-leg of the 2016-17 I-League at the Barasat Stadium. C.K. Vineeth had put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute in this thrilling contest, but an equaliser from Ivan Bukenya in the 28th minute and a 79th minute winner from Robin Singh helped the Red-and-Golds defeat the Blues after a gap of three matches.
2016-17 I-League (second-leg) -3-1
Robin Singh. Picture Courtesy: The Times of India
East Bengal won the reverse fixture of the 2016-17 I-League too, this time beating BFC 3-1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on 25 February. Wedson Anselme (23') and Robin Singh (54', 59') starred for the visitors in that match with a goal and a brace respectively, while Vineeth pulled one back for the hosts in the 85th minute. Trevor James Morgan was in charge of East Bengal at that time.
2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (first-leg) - 1-0
SC East Bengal clinched their maiden victory against Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League by defeating them 1-0 at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa on 9 January 2021. Matti Steinmann struck the solitary goal in the 20th minute to hand his team their second victory this season, while goalkeeper Debjit Majumder made five crucial saves to grab the Hero of the Match award.