It was one o’clock at night. The busy Maldives’ capital Male was sleeping. But one man was still awake sitting on a chair at the lobby of Hotel Jen Maldives Male by Shangri-La.
He was tired but had no sleep in his eyes. Perhaps, the excitement of the first win and thoughts of the next game plan had kept him awake. “What’s up?” the reporter asked the 44-year-old man.
Oscar Bruzon, the Spanish head coach of Bashundhara Kings, has been the chief architect behind all the achievements of the club since its inception.
The top Bangladeshi club, which came in Male to become group champions on their way to clinch the zonal championship title, started their campaign with an important 2-0 goals win against the home team Maziya Sports and Recreation Club on Wednesday.
The victory in the first match came as a huge relief for Bruzon as it was their first competitive game outside Bangladesh and they can now actually make their years’ dream real in the coming days.
“It is clear now that we are alive until the last game. As for Mohun Bagan (who also won the first game 2-0) and us, even if we lose the second game we are still alive for the last round and that is fantastic,” Bruzon said after the match.
Kings are normally known for playing possessive football with a defensive approach and they have been following the same style in the domestic leagues this season.
They had only 43 percent ball possession in the game, 41.3 percent duels success rate, 44.8 percent aerial duels win rate and only four shots on target during the match.
Meanwhile, Maziya had 57 percent ball possession, 58.7 percent duels success rate, 55.2 percent aerial duels win rate and three shots on target against Kings.
Kings must give thanks to their defence for their outstanding performance in the game as they made 19 clearances while the Maldivian outfit could make only nine in the game.
“We had less ball possession but we utilized our chances of scoring,” said Bruzon.
“We knew that Maziya were trying to play in the gaps but the most important thing was that our team kept in shape for 90 minutes. We made Maziya a little desperate and the moment they tried to put more numbers up, we became more dangerous in our counter-attacks,” he added.
Kings went 1-0 up in the match after Maziya captain Mohamed Irufan netted an own goal in the 25th minute while Brazilian forward Robson Da Silva Robinho scored a brilliant goal in the 40th minute to confirm Kings’ victory.
Bruzon said the win has spread the air of confidence in the entire team and they can now actually dream of bringing bigger successes for the team as well as for Bangladesh.
“It was a high-intensity game. I want to praise the team. They (players) were very confident with the plan.
“Since I’ve been with Bashundhara Kings, my confidence has increased. I feel the support of the staff and my teammates, as well as the management. I know I need to be one of the players to be pushing and making these differential plays,” he ended.