Bengaluru FC faces stiff challenge in 2nd leg against Altyn Asyr

A 3-2 defeat at home means Bengaluru FC must win by at least a two-goal margin against Altyn Asyr in the second leg of AFC Cup inter-zonal semifinal.

Last year, BFC was eliminated in the inter-zonal playoff final by a similar Central Asian side, Tajikistan’s Istiklol FC. (File Photo)   -  Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC has a mountain to climb against Altyn Asyr in the second leg of the AFC Cup inter-zonal semifinal in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Wednesday (August 29). Having conceded three away goals in the 3-2 defeat at home, BFC will need to win by a two-goal margin.

"It was a bit of a shock to go down by three goals," said coach Carles Cuadrat. "But we slowly took control of things in the second half and had enough chances to put Altyn Asyr in trouble. We have two goals that make us believe we have a shot at going ahead in this competition."

In the first leg, the BFC midfield, so essential to the possession-based football it likes to play, didn't do much throughout the first half. Altyn Asyr, on the other hand, was excellent on the counter and clinical in its finishing.

"We weren’t happy with the way things went in the first game and we would like to fix that," said Cuadrat. “If it means us having to change and reshuffle, we will. In the end, we don’t have an option but to keep trying things that can keep us alive in the competition.”

Altymyrat Annadurdyyew and Wahyt Orazsahedow, both of who were on target in Bengaluru, will be biggest threats for BFC. Winger Myrat Yagsyyew, who was substituted early in last week's match owing to a groin injury, remains a doubtful starter.

Harmanjot Khabra, who missed the game for BFC with illness, has made the trip to Turkmenistan but is still not sure of playing a part.

The match kicks off at 5 p.m. IST

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