Dempo face stiff task against BFC

Dempo face stiff task against BFC

Dempo face stiff task against BFC

Riding on an adrenaline rush that has now lasted more than a month, hosts Bengaluru FC take on struggling former champions Dempo in a round six encounter of the I-League here at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Wednesday.

Having won three back-to-back games – scoring six goals and conceding just one in the process – the hosts do start favourites against the visitors who have seldom lived up to their billing this season.

BFC have scored in all games, have kept clean sheets in two of the four games and in foward Sean Rooney and defender John Johnson, they have two in-form players with three goals each to their credit.

The hosts’ modus operandi has been clear in all games: Score first (they have scored first in the four games that they have played so far) and early, look to frustrate the opposition by deploying a double pivot of Johnny Menyongar and one of Darren Caldeira and Siam Hangel in midfield and play on the break in the second-half. BFC also has solid ammunition on the right wing with Beikhokhei Beingaichho coming up with five assists already this season.

They are on second place on the table with ten points but coach Ashley Westwood isn’t getting carried away. “We are taking it every game as it comes,” he said. “The next block of four games (they play Dempo before going away to face East Bengal, Mumbai FC and Pune FC in 12 days) is going to be our hardest test and if we come out ok, it should keep us in good stead,” said Westwood.

With three of their next four assignments all away from home, they will do well to maintain momentum by going for all three points on Wednesday.

Dempo have had their own set of problems but their game finally came to life last week as they notched a a rousing 3-1 win against East Bengal in Kolkata. The Goans have lost only once but they have drawn three games and that seems to be their achilles heel.
Dempo are in seventh place now but with the likes of India internationals Jewel Raja and Jeje Lalpekhlua and Brazilian midfielder Beto in their ranks, they are a dangerous side who do possess the combination to break down the BFC backline through open play – something that no team have managed to do so far this season.

Dempo manager Jonathan D’ Souza, who addressed the press conference in place of coach Arthus Papas who was not feeling well, said his team was ‘happy to get to back to winning ways.’ The manager also said his team would try to counter BFC’s strength from set-piece situations.

The match promises to be a fascinating tussle and BFC will again look up to their wall, Johnson, to keep thwarting the opposition. With a hat-trick of man-of-the-match awards in his kitty, he might just be the man again.

The kick-off has been advanced by 30 minutes to 3.30 pm to counter fading light.
In the other games on Wednesday, table-toppers Salgaocar are away to Mohun Bagan while Mumbai FC entertain Shillong Lajong.

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