BFC look to seal the deal

BFC look to seal the deal

It's advantage Bengaluru as they take on Rovers in the return leg

BFC look to seal the deal

They might have a goal advantage, but Bengaluru FC’s head coach Albert Roca said his side would not be making much of it as he expects Tampines Rovers to come all guns blazing at his boys when the two face-off in the second leg of the AFC Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Bengaluru side has traveled to Singapore on the back of a CK Vineeth goal in the first leg of the quarterfinal last week to give Roca’s side a slight edge. But the Spaniard believes Bengaluru have their task cut out. “The second leg is always a big challenge. It isn’t going to be easy given we have only the one goal to show for and Tampines will look to make things difficult in a bid to reverse the situation. But we have to be prepared for that,” said Roca on the eve of the tie.

 In what was the club’s first competitive game since winning the I-League in May, Bengaluru put on a fluent display at an empty Sree Kanteerava stadium back home last week, leaving Tampines to do the chasing for most of the game. In fact the Indian champions created enough chances to kill the tie at home but for some wasteful finishing which gives both sides everything to play for on Wednesday.

“I am happy because after six weeks we have tried to create a new style of play, which is not easy. We have good players and they have been really involved in trying to adapt to the new concepts. The players have shown in the first leg that they can adjust to the new style of play and I hope they can do the same here in Singapore,” the Spaniard said.

Meanwhile the Rovers coach, Akbar Nawas, said his side would be under pressure but urged his squad to give a good account of themselves. “The pressure is always there, no matter how much we say it isn’t. We need to step things up from the start and should not make the mistake of taking Bengaluru FC lightly,” he said.

History too isn’t making things easier on the hosts who attempt to be the first side from Singapore to make the last four of AFC Cup since 2004.

Bengaluru landed in Singapore on Sunday and put in a session at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday. Much has been made about the rather hard surface at the Stadium but Roca chose to play it down when asked whether the pitch would have a role to play. “The surface is the same for both teams so there will be no excuses. We will have to adapt as quickly as possible. The climate is a little too humid for our liking but we have players experienced enough to manage the situation.”