AFC Cup: Bengaluru eyeing last four ahead of second leg

A single goal advantage is always dicey, but Albert Roca can draw enough encouragement from his wards' display in the first competitive fixture under him.

Bengaluru FC Head Coach Albert Roca instructs his side at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.   -  Special Arrangement

Bengaluru FC, which has one foot in the semifinal following a 1-0 first-leg AFC Cup quarterfinal win over Tampines Rovers, will look to complete the job in the return leg at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Wednesday.

A single goal advantage is always dicey, but Albert Roca can draw enough encouragement from his wards' display in the first competitive fixture under him.

“I am happy because after six weeks we have tried to create a new style of play, which is not easy,” the Spaniard said ahead of the second leg. “We have good players and they have been really involved in trying to adapt to the new concepts. The players have shown in the first leg that they can adjust to the new style of play and I hope they can do the same here.”

Yet, Roca refused to get carried away and seemed firmly focussed on the task at hand.

“The second leg is always a big challenge,” he said. “It isn’t going to be easy given we have only the one goal to show for and Tampines will look to make things difficult. But we have to be prepared for that.”

In Bengaluru, after C.K. Vineeth’s strike early on, BFC took its foot off the pedal. Roca would hope that it would not comeback to bite him.

Meanwhile Tampines coach, Akbar Nawas, even while admitting that his side would be under pressure, urged his squad to give a good account of itself.

“The pressure is always there, no matter how much we say it isn’t. We need to step things up from the start,” he said.

The surface at Jalan Besar is said to be hard, but Roca chose to play it down. “The surface is the same for both teams so there will be no excuses,” he said. “We will have to adapt as quickly as possible. The climate is a little too humid for our liking but we have players experienced enough to manage the situation.”