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Bengaluru FC eye win and qualification to AFC Cup group stage

Bengaluru FC will go through to the next stage of the AFC Cup even if they lose by a 1-2 margin to Maldivies’ TC Sports Club in the second leg play-off in Bangalore on Tuesday.

football Updated: Feb 19, 2018 20:10 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Bangalore
Bengaluru FC,AFC Cup,TC Sports Club
Bengaluru FC are primed to go through to the next stage of the AFC Cup when they take on Maldivies’ TC Sports Club in the second leg play-off in Bangalore on Tuesday. (AP)

Bengaluru FC are eyeing a win and qualification to the AFC Cup group stage as they get ready to host Maldivies’ TC Sports Club in the second leg play-off here tomorrow.

Having won the first leg in Male 3-2, BFC would go through to the next stage even if they lose by a 1-2 margin, as they would be still ahead in terms of number of goals scored in the away game.

BFC will be taking the field with their tails up, days after making the semi-finals of the Indian Super League (ISL) in their maiden season. The result in Male will only to their confidence when they play in front of their home fans.

Semboi Haokip and Erik Paartulu will be looking to repeat their performance against TC Sports Club -- the Indian had scored twice and the Australian defender once -- in the last game.

Winger Toni Dovale also would be keen on contributing with his precision set-pieces for the main strikers.

Keeping in mind the crucial knockout match coming up in the ISL, BFC head coach Albert Roca may continue with his rotation policy, which has worked in his favour, because the players have made use of the opportunities.

Roca had made the trip to Male without Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Sandhu, Juanan Gonzalez and Dimas Delgado, among others.

It will be interesting to see whether he fields defender Rahul Bheke, goal-scorers Boithang Haokip, Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Semboi.

Also on the fray are Prasanth Kalinga, Cletus Fernandes and Leon Augustine. On the other hand, the visitors who are making their AFC debut, will very much depend on Kyrgyz playmaker Anatoliy Vlasichev, who slotted home a crucial goal before Mahudee levelled the proceedings.

Anatoliy has the distinction of having scored four goals, including a hat-trick, in a separate tournament against Bangladesh.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 20:10 IST