AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC look to clinch historic semifinal berth against Tampines Rovers
I-League champions Bengaluru Football Club would look to seal a historic semifinal appearance in the AFC Cup when they take on Tampines Rovers in the quarterfinal second leg at Singapure.
Singapore: I-League champions Bengaluru Football Club would look to seal a historic semifinal appearance in the AFC Cup when they take on Tampines Rovers in the quarterfinal second leg at Singapure on Wednesday.
Bengaluru FC need a draw to make it to the semifinals after they beat the Singapore side 1-0 in the first leg in Bengaluru. Striker CK Vineeth had scored the match-winner in the first leg.
Bengaluru FC will be confident after a gritty display in the first leg. Despite barely having a pre-season of note, the I-League winners showed their class by following Spaniard coach Albert Roca's instructions to the tee.
Roca will expect nothing less than the same, a week after their successful game, which was also his first competitive tie in charge of the club.
"It is not easy for the team to adjust to the style of play I want as they adapt to the new concepts during those six weeks of training. They showed in the first leg they can do it, so I hope they can do more of the same in the second leg on their own terms even though Tampines will try to attack us," said Roca, a former Galatasaray assistant coach.
"Playing in the second leg will be a challenge because we only scored one goal to bring with us to Singapore. The humidity makes things difficult, so we try not to lose too much energy. I am confident of us adapting to the surface at Jalan Besar as there is little difference there from the one we have back in Bangalore," he said.
Tampines coach Akbar Nawas acknowledged that it will be difficult for his side to defeat the Indian champions on Wednesday at Jalan Besar Stadium but exuded confidence in the ability of his players.
"It will be an uphill task for us if Bengaluru score an away goal. Even though we are under pressure, we have to go all out and stay composed," he said.
Nawas, who took charge in June, remained unfazed and challenged his players to break the goal drought.
"We have been working on that during training in the past few days and our players know they have to start scoring again," he said.
"We are only thinking of what we can do tomorrow, because if we don't do our job, there is no point thinking about our opponents in the semi-finals," he added.
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