BFC look to tame New Radiant

BFC look to tame New Radiant

After a heartbreaking loss in the Indian Super League final when they last played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru FC will attempt to restore the 'fortress' tag against New Radiant FC in the AFC Cup.

Both  boast an all-win record and have the same statistics in the group stage of the competition. To keep the  streak  alive will be the challenge in the Group E game on Tuesday evening.

It has been a busy period for BFC. After a narrow 1-0 win against  Abahani Dhaka in March, BFC travelled to Guwahati to face former I-League champions Aizawl FC and came away with all three points after a  commanding display.

"New Radiant are a very good side and have some quality players in their ranks. We saw them play against Aizawl and in Dhaka and we're sure that we will have to be at our best to take anything away from them," BFC coach Albert Roca said at the pre-match press conference.

The competition has  been an opportunity for BFC's young brigade to shine on the big stage and they haven't let coach Roca down. Tuesday's clash  will be no different as  the senior players continue to observe proceedings from the dugout.

"All our young players are doing really well so that is a good sign. What is important for these players is to stay focused on improving and doing well in the second division (I-League)," said Roca.

Striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia has  hit a purple patch scoring in the last two games he has featured in and with another frontman Daniel Segovia netting in the victory over Aizawl, it will leave Roca with a selection headache.

Karnataka had a good run in the recently concluded Santosh Trophy and midfielder Leon Augustine will be rewarded with a spot in the starting XI, while defensive mainstay Juanan is set to miss out with a rib injury.

Burly Australian Erik Paartalu could once again marshal a three-man defence with the likes of Nishu Kumar and Rahul Bheke.

The Maldivian side's head coach  Oscar Bruzon played up the importance of the clash stressing on how head-to-head results will eventually be the deciding factor.

"We have won the same number of games and have scored and conceded the same so nothing separates the two sides as of now. But the results we get here and back home  is what will matter  in terms of who will top the group," the Spaniard observed.

Bengaluru have never lost to a Maldivian opponent, winning all six games over three years, and will be keen to extend that record.

 

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