BFC keen to find rhythm again

Chhetri to miss Mumbai FC clash

BFC keen to find rhythm again

The problem with having to resume a league campaign after a substantial break is the loss of momentum, especially for a club which resides in the upper echelons of the table.

Bengaluru FC, the I-League table toppers with 30 points from 15 games, will have to sort out that issue when they face Mumbai FC here at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday.

BFC’s last league match was on December 21 (a 2-1 win over Salgaocar). Their last competitive match was on January 21, a disappointing 0-2 loss against East Bengal in the Federation Cup.

But coach Ashley Westwood played down the concerns of rust during his pre-match press conference.

“There can be no excuses (with regards to rust). There are no differences between training sessions and an actual match in my eyes,” said Westwood. He also pointed out that professional footballers should be match ready irrespective of breaks.

BFC utilised the break to sign central midfielder CK Vineeth on loan from United SC. A goal-scorer from the middle of the park, he could add an extra attacking dimension during the run in as the home side needs more players to chip in with goals (strikers Sunil Chhetri and Sean Rooney have scored 16 of the 25 goals so far).

The good news for the home side is that they don’t have any injuries and barring the suspension of skipper Chhetri, because of four yellow cards, they have a full squad to select from. Chhetri’s suspension might pave the way for Robin Singh to start along side Rooney.

The home side are considered favourites to walk away with all three points but Mumbai FC, currently 10th in the table with 17 points from 15 games, are dangerous opponents according to Westwood. “They are a dangerous side as they are nearer to the bottom of the league and they need points, so it will be as tough as it gets.”

Mumbai FC’s last match was a 1-1 draw at United on Wednesday. Mumbai coach Derrick Pereira was impressed with their performance and spoke about the need to stay clear of the relegation zone. “We played well against United SC but missed a lot of chances.  The top priority for this season is to stay clear of the relegation zone. If we can do that as we are the only club from Mumbai playing in the I-League, we can make full use of the infrastructure that will be available to us. We do not want to miss out on that,” he stated.

Mumbai skipper Climax Lawrence is suffering an eye-infection and might miss out.
Meanwhile, Goan side Salgaocar defeated Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 in an 18th round match in Kolkata.

Dudu Omagbemi scored the only goal of the match in the 23rd minute.  The win lifted Salgoacar to fourth place.

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