Friday, January 16, 2015

Bengaluru begin I-League campaign against Dempo

Round 1 of Hero I-League season, country’s best two teams in contention, newly laid natural turf, bigger capacity stadium, LED infused floodlight - football-loving fans of the Garden City couldn't have asked for a better weekend! 

A very similar position for the host Bengaluru FC too! After winning I-League last season, they have won the Hero Federation Cup few weeks back outdoing the same rival.  

Bengaluru FC proved to be a tormentor for India’s best football club for the past decade, Dempo Sports Club. They’ve have defeated them in past three occasions.

Coach Ashley Westwood feels his boys have worked on their fitness level in last 5 months and conditioned well for a long season. “Other than Joshua Walker, who picked up an injury in the Federation Cup finals, the rest of the team looks fine. We are in great form, only hope to be consistent, and carry forward to the rest of the season”, says coach. 

For the 5-time champions Dempo, it will be a bumpy start to the race. They have few injury concerns – Afghanistan international Haroon Fakhruddin has been ruled out and Tolgay Ozbey and Clifford appears to be a doubtful for tomorrow’s match.

Dempo captain believes that the JSW-promoted club from Bangalore holds advantage, “Bengaluru FC is playing at home, the best team in the country at this moment, and the Hero Federation Cup champion”, said the India international. 

Clifford did not reveal much on Dempo’s strategy for the game rather it is up to Coach Arthur Papas’ plate. But his team is not intimidated, “Despite of all concerns, we still have 11 players to play”, affirms Clifford. 

The match between Bengaluru FC and Dempo Sports Club is slated to start tomorrow, Saturday, 7 PM, Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore. 

Dempo SC captain Clifford Miranda and Bengaluru FC Captain Sunil Chhetri  pose with the Hero I-League trophy during the Launch Press Conference in Bangalore.