Bengaluru FC takes on Paro in reverse leg of AFC Cup qualifier

The winner of this tie will take on one of either Maziya (Maldives) or Abahani Dhaka (Bangladesh) for a place in the group stages of the competition.

Bengaluru FC players train at the Kanteerava Stadium ahead of the match against Paro FC.   -  Special Arrangement

Bengaluru FC will look to progress to the final round of qualifying for the 2020 AFC Cup when it hosts Bhutan’s Paro FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.

In the first leg of the preliminary round 2 match in Thimphu last week, BFC had secured a vital 1-0 win, courtesy Semboi Haokip’s goal. Coach Carles Cuadrat will now bank on his side’s formidable form at home and water-tight defence to progress. On the other hand, Paro Jangchuk Dorji will depend on winger Chencho Gyeltshen, who had a stint at BFC last year.

February is a month that could see BFC play as many as eight games. The coach has a tough job of keeping alive a title challenge in the Indian Super League as well as cater to the club’s continental aspirations. BFC was the AFC Cup finalist in 2016 and the competition figures high in the club’s priorities.

“We are focussed enough to separate one competition from the other and we are securing our targets in both,” said Cuadrat. “We have 30 players to pick from. For example Juanan cannot play on Saturday [vs. Kerala Blasters] so he is going to play [vs. Paro]. Naorem Roshan Singh played really well in the first leg and even assisted the goal. He won’t play the second leg because he has an injury. But we will try another younger player. So I am happy with my options."

Skipper Sunil Chhetri will also be rested as a he is carrying a muscle injury.

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