BFC prepares for AFC Cup encore

After having secured a crucial 3-2 away win over TC Sports Club in the Maldives, Bengaluru FC will look to finish the job when it renews its rivalry in the second leg of the AFC Cup qualifying play-off tie on Tuesday.

This being BFC's eighth match in less than four weeks, the squad is sure to be rotated.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

After having secured a crucial 3-2 away win in the Maldives, Bengaluru FC will look to finish the job when it renews its rivalry with TC Sports Club in the second leg of its AFC Cup qualifying play-off tie at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday.

“We are happy with that result [first leg],” coach Albert Roca said. “But they [TC Sports Club] proved that they are a good team. They put us in a lot of trouble in the last 20 minutes. So we are ready for a difficult test.”

This being BFC's eighth match in less than four weeks, the squad is sure to be rotated. More so in light of the club's impending clash against Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

That Albert Roca has managed to eke out six wins and a draw from the last seven, and in the process secured a place in the ISL play-off, will give him further confidence.

It had travelled to the island nation last week without the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Juan Gonzalez and Dimas Delgado. It remains to be seen if they will be back for the second leg, after having played against FC Pune City last Friday.

“I have a lot of trust in my squad,” Roca said. “They have also proved in the Maldives that they can get a good result. I see how important this month is. I have to protect my players. So this is an opportunity for others to try and be there and get the result.”

In the first leg, BFC had a sluggish first period. Even against Pune, only an energetic second-half display saved it. Albert Roca suggested it was something his side had to improve.

“Any coach will like to start well rather than wait till in the second half. In the Maldives, we even suffered in the last 20 minutes. We were lucky. Against Pune too it was difficult to get into the game. But let's see tomorrow. We know that if we score a goal early, it will be very difficult for them to get back.”

The match kicks off at 8 p.m.

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