ISL: Delhi Dynamos FC aim to fight for survival against high-flying Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC are riding high at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table, but their next opponents Delhi Dynamos have had a poor season, meaning the two sides’ encounter at New Delhi is like a ‘final’ for the home team.

football Updated: Jan 13, 2018 23:58 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Dynamos FC,Bengaluru FC,Indian Super League
Miguel Angel Portugal, head coach of Delhi Dynamos FC, has branded their upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) clash vs Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi like a ‘final’ for them. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

When Bengaluru FC decided to join the Indian Super League (ISL) at the start of this season, a lot of people were not sure about how quickly the two-time I-League winners will get used to the new competition.

However, with 18 points from 9 games, Albert Roca’s side has proven almost all doubters wrong and the current league leaders will certainly start as favourites against the bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday.

In a competition where squads go through a drastic makeover every other season, Bengaluru FC were able to hold on to their core players and that proved to be crucial for them.

At the start of the season, they retained five players and shrewd business in the Player Draft meant that Albert Roca had almost half of his previous squad at his disposal.

That made the transition easy for Bengaluru FC and the had relatively less issues when it came to team building.

“We were lucky to get some many of our former players back in the squad. That meant that we had more time to plan our strategies and the familiarity helped the players too,” Roca told the media.

However, when it comes to scoring goals, it is new signing Miku who has dominated the headlines. The Venezuelan striker has shown tremendous effectiveness in front of the goal and with 8 strikes to his name, he is the second highest goal-scorer in the competition right now.

But Roca is not ready to rest on his laurels and he said that they will not be taking Delhi Dynamos lightly.

“I know that the results have not gone Delhi’s way this season. But they are still a good side who want to play good football and it will be stupid of us to take them lightly,” he said.

On the other hand, it has been a disastrous campaign for Delhi Dynamos. The defeat against Kerala Blasters on Wednesday was their seventh of the season and barring some miracle, their chances of making the semi-finals are next to none.

Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal echoed similar sentiments in the pre-match press conference and said that his side will be treating the match against Bengaluru FC as a ‘final’ chance to keep their dreams of reaching the knockout stages alive.

“The semi-finals are almost out of our reach and this match is our only chance of keeping the hope alive. So we have nothing to lose in this game. For us, this match is like a final,” Portugal said.

First Published: Jan 13, 2018 19:01 IST