BFC set for Lajong test

BFC set for Lajong test

Knowing that a win against Shillong Lajong will take them a step closer towards qualifying for the semifinals of the Federation Cup, Bengaluru FC will be raring to go against their winless opponents here on Friday.

But BFC coach Ashley Westwood, who raided Shillong for Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the close season, isn’t taking anything for granted .

“We have been fortunate to watch Lajong the two times they have played in this Cup,” the English coach said.

“Although they didn’t get the result they would have liked, they could have won both games. They are a dangerous side with youth and energy, the kind who keep pushing till the final minute. We will have to be at our best to get something out of the game.”

BFC, who began their campaign with a thrilling 3-2 win over Salgaocar on December 28, are placed second in Group  B with four points from two games with only goal difference separating them and Pune FC.

Their fitness may not be upto speed yet given the side is coming off an eight-month break but their new signings — midfielders Josh Walker and Eugeneson and ’keeper, Lalthuammawia Ralte, another former Shillong player, have hit the ground running.

Lajong, who are yet to open their account from two games, do have happy memories of playing against BFC. In their home tie last season in the I-League, they thrashed the Blues 3-0 with both keeper Pawan Kumar and Curtis Osana seeing red.

One player who would want a different result this time is BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri, who scored a brace during the side’s win over Salgaocar.

“We were dominant in our game against Salgaocar and showed a lot of character in our game against Bagan. We’ve been doing things correctly and the boys are keen to keep the momentum going,” he said.

After facing the North Eastern club, BFC close their Group engagements with a game against Pune FC on January 5.

The other match on Friday sees Mumbai FC locking horns with East Bengal.

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