Bengaluru eager to bounce back

Bengaluru eager to bounce back

A below-par show at home against newcomers Minerva Punjab FC has sent their title defence into disarray. And now up against an in-form Aizawl FC, the champions will be expected to play out of their skins when the two face-off in the I-League tie on Wednesday.

A draw against Minerva means Bengaluru continue to occupy the fifth position on the league table with 11 points and trail table-toppers East Bengal by nine points.

On the other hand, Aizawl seems to have found a new lease of life under head coach Khalid Jamil. Having played a game more than Bengaluru, the home side are third on the table with 16 points and have turned up with some impressive performances this season. Their biggest win came last weekend when Aizawl clawed back from a goal down to beat Churchill Brothers 3-1 at home.

For Bengaluru, a combination of injuries, suspensions and moments of poor luck has stretched their winless streak to four games in the league. But their head coach Albert Roca sounded confident that his side are close to turning a corner if the chances being created in attack are anything to go by.

“We’ve been playing some good football and it’s only a matter of putting to bed the chances we are creating,” he said on the eve of the tie at the at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. “Against Minerva, we were plain unlucky. But that’s football. We’ve picked ourselves up and are focused on the challenge that Aizawl will throw at us. They are a team that’s high on confidence and are playing at home which means everything is against us. It’s going to be a test of our character and I’m sure the boys will be up to it.”

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