I-League Preview: Bengaluru looking for momentum against Shivajians

Bengaluru F.C. had slipped up against East Bengal and Churchill Brothers F.C., prior to leaving for the Amman match. Head coach Alert Roca believes that the resolve shown by his players at the AFC competition, will benefit the squad ahead of the upcoming I-League games.

Bengaluru offence becomes sharper when the captain, Sunil Chhetri, is enjoying his role as a finisher.

Bengaluru offence becomes sharper when the captain, Sunil Chhetri, is enjoying his role as a finisher.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Bengaluru F.C. is focused on putting the I-League campaign back on track, using the momentum gained in the AFC Champions League qualifier against Al Wehdat club.

Sunil Chhetri re-discovering his scoring instinct in the away tie at Amman is a boost to the forward and the group of attack-minded players. He was on target against the Jordan club with a snap header and then went on make an impact in the offence, setting off the move for Udanta Singh to set up C. K. Vineeth for the equaliser which did not materialise.

Bengaluru went down 1-2, clawing back after trailing two goals down and matching the Jordan club. Head coach Alert Roca believes that the resolve shown by his players when challenged at the AFC competition, will benefit the squad ahead of the I-League games.

"I’m proud of the way the boys stuck to the plan (against Al Wedhat and if we carry on like this, we should put behind the hiccups suffered recently.” he said, ahead of the team’s I-League away match against DSK Shivajians."

The confidence shown by Chhetri is a major factor. Bengaluru offence becomes sharper when the captain is enjoying his role as a finisher. He is a big influence as the roving playmaker.

Fellow striker Vineeth scored five goals in five I-League matches so far and marking has not diluted his knack of hitting lethal blows in the goalmouth.

Udanta is able to lend support and score when chances arise. Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh showed competence before a reckless challenge by a teammate resulted in a penalty and the Jordan club took off.

The I-League champions had slipped up against East Bengal and Churchill Brothers F.C., prior to leaving for the Amman match. Roca talked about those missteps ahead of Sunday’s tie at the Balewadi stadium.

"We had phases against East Bengal and Churchill where we switched off and paid the price for it," he said, adding, "The team worked on a few things and the attitude was good." Defender John Johnson got a red card in the Churchill tie and stands suspended.

DSK Shivajians has a match-winner in captain Juan Quero. The live wire from Spain splinters defences when darting into attacking positions around the goalmouth. He is dangerous on the ball and has a knack of finding space in packed defences.

The home team from Pune is still in the process of settling down and Mohun Bagan learnt the hard way at Balewadi stadium, drawing goalless with help from the backline. Korean Kim Song Yong troubled the Kolkata side with shooting.

Roca is aware that the home team, coached by Dave Rogers, can trouble the best clubs. “DSK is a good team, as they showed against Bagan and Aizawl..We cannot afford any more slip-ups. I’m confident the team will rise to the occasion,” said the Bengaluru coach.

DSK Shivajians has one win in six matches, and will take on the I-League champion, which has three victories and determined to move up from fourth place.

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