BFC face Warriors examination

BFC face Warriors examination

BFC face Warriors examination

After going down to Persipura Jayapura a week ago, Bengaluru FC will look to get back to winning ways in the AFC Cup when they take on the reigning Singapore League champions Warriors FC in their third group encounter at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday.

A win and a loss in their previous two outings see Bengaluru being placed second in the group with three points, behind Jayapura who lead the lot with six points after notching up wins in their two games.

Warriors are yet two open their account in the competition as they ended up on the wrong side of the result in the past, going down to Jayapura 1-3 first and then losing out to Maziya 0-2 in the second game.

With four of the Bengaluru regulars -- Robin Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Keegan Pereira and Eugeneson Lyngdoh -- out on national duty and two -- Siam Hangal and Shankar Sampingiraj -- being called for the U-23 national camp, coach Ashley Westwood will once again bank on his bench strength to churn out a positive result from what is expected to be a closely fought tie.

“The team is fit and ready for the game. Though we will be without four of our key players, I am sure that the boys who fill in for them will do a good job,” said Westwood.
He also added that though their opponents have lost the opening two games of the competition, Bengaluru will not commit the mistake of taking their opponents lightly. “In Indonesia, I was surprised by the quality of their football. Though our opponents have lost their opening ties of the group stages, I am sure they have enough in their tank to come out and put up a stiff fight. And it would be foolishness to take them lightly ahead of a crucial tie,” said the Englishman.

Westwood confirmed that defenders John Johnson, who was withdrawn from the Jayapura game mid-way through the first half, and Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, who is yet to attain match fitness, will have to clear a fitness test before kick-off.

Trying to halt Bengaluru in their home territory will be Alex Weaver’s side who come into this game on the back of two losses in the S-League, which include a heavy 0-6 drubbing at the hands of Albirex Niigata FC.

Not detered by their current form, the Singapore champions will look up to their talisman Nicolas Velez who has been the driving force of the team this season, netting three goals in as many appearance in the calender year. Other key players for the visitors include midfielders Thomas Beattie, Kevin McCann and defender Marin Vidosevic who have been the fulcrum of the championship winning side a season ago.

Meanwhile, the other Indian club in contention, East Bengal will take on another Singapore club Balestier Khalsa FC as they continue to search for their first win of the competition.

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