Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bengaluru FC Ready For Lajong Challenge

AIFF Media 

As the fight for the top spot in the Airtel I-League heats up, Bengaluru FC will take on Shillong Lajong FC in a crucial 12th round match at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday. While Bengaluru FC are undefeated so far at home, the visitors are coming into the match with a six-match unbeaten run.

With three top teams- Salgaocar, Bangalore FC and Pune FC, tied on 18 points each, a win on Sunday will ensure that the Bangalore based side stays in hunt for the top spot. On the other hand, Shillong Lajong, who have 14 points and are lying at the sixth place, will be looking forward to moving up the table with a favourable away result.

Bengaluru FC, who registered the first away win against Salgaocar, earlier this week are high on confidence. “Finally it was a welcome win, after we failed to win our first three away matches despite playing well in them. It is certainly good for the team,” said coach Ashley Westwood, on the eve of the match. “But again as I have said earlier, we play each game to win,” he added.

The British coach admitted the visitors are a good team and Sunday’s match will be a tough one. “When any team is unbeaten for six games, you know that they are playing good football,” pointed out Westwood. “I have watched their match video, they have lot of pace and their style of play is also good,” he added.

Bengaluru FC will be keeping a close watch on Lajong’s Trinidadian striker and World Cupper Cornell Glen. Glen has been in terrific form and has scored six goals so far in the league. “Our aim will be to stop Glen from scoring a goal. We have a plan in place to keep him away from the goal as much as possible,” said Bengaluru FC defender Rino Anto.

Shillong Lajong’s coach Thangboi Singto is also happy with the way the team has performed in the league so far and is confident that the team will be able to live upto its reputation on Sunday.

“I am happy with the team, though we could have done better. But I am not complaining as we are undefeated in the last six matches. We will go all out against Bengaluru FC to pick up full points,” he said.

Singto further maintained that despite Bengaluru FC having a good record at home, they cannot be called favourites as most of the teams are at par. “This season I-league is a tight race. On a given day any team can beat anyone, whether it is at home or away. Just see so far in the league, 30 points were up for grabs, whereas the leaders just have 18 points,” said Singto.

The Lajong coach also believes that playing in Bangalore is like playing at home. “With so many students from the North East studying in Bangalore, Lajong has got huge support whenever they have played in Bangalore. Even on Sunday, I am expecting good support for our team.”