Job on hand for Bengaluru

Going down 0-1 in Dushanbe, Bengaluru FC will need to beat Tajik side FC Istiklol by a two-goal margin at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday should they book a berth in the AFC Cup main round.

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 18.10.17
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Big test: Bengaluru FC players during a training session

Calcutta: Going down 0-1 in Dushanbe, Bengaluru FC will need to beat Tajik side FC Istiklol by a two-goal margin at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday should they book a berth in the AFC Cup main round.

Going into the game, Istiklol have been boosted by the return of Ghanaian midfielder David Mawutor and medio Juraboev Amirbek, while Ukraine defender Artem Baranavskyi continues to serve a suspension.

Banking on their counter-attacking skills, the Tajik side managed to create a host of chances in the first leg, but were denied on most occasions by a resolute defensive performance at the back by BFC, who dominated possession throughout the game. However, having been denied a penalty in the closing stages of the game, BFC will be hoping to move on and get the desired result at their fortress.

In the build-up to the game, BFC utilised their three-week break between the ties training in the city before a short camp at their residential academy in Bellary last week. Having completed a few sessions at the Kanteerava, together with the return of national team players, the hosts are geared up for one of the biggest games of the season.

With no suspensions or injuries to worry about, BFC will have a full-strength squad at their disposal as they aim to turn around the tie.

Speaking on the eve of the game, head coach Albert Roca said: "We all know the permutations and combinations now and it's simple for us. We need to win by two goals and so, we need to get off to a good start.

"It won't be easy against Istiklol who will be hard to break down. But there's no turning back and we will go all out to get the result. We have a job on hand, though."

With the team back in familiar conditions and a natural turf to play on, Roca wants his team to make most of the home advantage.

For the record, BFC haven't lost at their fortress in the AFC Cup this season, logging four successive wins, scoring eight goals and conceding just one. With fans playing an important role during this campaign, the coach didn't shy away from highlighting their role as the team's 12th man.

"We have a good record at home this season and it gives us a boost ahead of the game. The fans have been great so far and I know that the atmosphere they'll create will give our players that extra motivation during the game."