Federation Cup: Bengaluru FC travels to Aizawl

I-League champion Bengaluru FC is the current holder of the Federation Cup having beaten Dempo 2-1 in the 2015 final which was played at Margao, Goa.

Newly crowned I-League champion Bengaluru FC will clash swords against Aizawl FC in the first match of the Federation Cup 2016 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl, Mizoram on Saturday.

The top eight teams of I-league will be contending in the Federation Cup which will see a total of 13 games. All the matches, except the final are to be played on a two legged (home and away) knockout basis. The final will be played on a neutral ground. Bengaluru FC is the current holder of the Federation Cup having beaten Dempo 2-1 in the 2015 final which was played at Margao, Goa.

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In the official pre-match press conference held today at Aizawl, both sides expressed their desire and intention to win in the match tomorrow. Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood said, "We have been fairly consistent this season and we hope to carry it into the Federation Cup. We could not train as much as we would like to today after our long journey yesterday but we will play to win tomorrow."

Commenting on Aizawl FC, Westwood stated "Aizawl are a good team, it was sad to see to see them go out. They were a fresh team that showed excitement and did not deserve to be relegated."

Seminlen Doungel, the Manipuri striker, emphasized on the desire of his team to win and said, "I am very excited about our match with Aizawl tomorrow, we will try our best to win."

He also admitted that knock-out matches could be more difficult than league matches.

Aizawl FC coach Jahar Das stated that his side could create an upset come tomorrow. "We were not the last team in the I-League, and we were able to beat Mohun Bagan who were at the top, we can win tomorrow. We have an advantage over them as they are a little tired, it will be difficult for them to hold us tomorrow."

"It was a difficult time for us when we heard that we have relegated. But now, we have to opportunity to play against the champions. They are the best team as of now and have been playing other tournaments like the AFC so that might work to our advantage", informed Aizwal FC's midfielder Albert Zohmingmawia.

In its two Hero I-League matches against each other, Aizawl FC suffered two defeats conceding one goal in each match without scoring against Bengaluru FC. However a new day beckons tomorrow and Aizawl FC will be looking to extract revenge against the champion.

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