Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bengaluru FC face off with champions Mohun Bagan tomorrow

AIFF Media 

An advertisement message released by the host team talks about ‘war’ instead of a football match. Looks like the Hero I-League title that was taken away from them last season is still fresh in their mind – one can easily imagine the hype that has surrounded the Hero I-league Round 8 match between Bengaluru FC and the defending Champions, Mohun Bagan, which will be played at the Sree Kanterava Stadium on Saturday, February 13. 

Grudge match it might sound for the Bengaluru supporters. After all a win in last season at home could have given them their consecutive I-League title. The encounter can be easily called as the most anticipated match of the season. 

Bengaluru FC top the points table with 15 points (5 wins out of the 7 matches). Mohun Bagan, the only unbeaten team thus far in the league is 3rd in the table is with 11 points. They have played two matches less than Bengaluru. 

Bengaluru FC Gaffer Ashley Westwood is not ready to label tomorrow’s face-off as a grudge match. Refereeing the encounter that happened May last year, “No, we’re not playing a grudge match, we never lost the game against Bagan; we drew the match. It will be a very normal football match.”

Also, he is not agreeing to the fact that the result of tomorrow’s game would decide the title of the Hero I-League, “Bengaluru FC will be playing their 8th match, that’s like half-way to league. We’ll be vying for 8 more rounds – so that’s 24 points to play for. Tomorrow’s result would not deter the outcome of the league.”

Ashley added, “tomorrow’s game is obviously an important game for us, we’re playing against the title contenders. But the result won’t make or break the league.”

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen’s approach for tomorrows match is straight, “When you are looking for title, you have to win regardless of playing at home or away. You should target to win and earn as much as points as possible. We shall be looking for 3 points.” 

Sen also added, “Undoubtedly tomorrows match will be a tough one for us. We respect Bengaluru FC - they are a very organized team, strong in every department. Bengaluru are the most consistent team in last three years. They might lose a match, but they comeback strongly.” 

The outcome of Bengaluru FC versus Mohun Bagan in last two seasons in Bangalore has been an identical 1-1 draw.

 “We always look for positive results, even in last year’s match we were down by a goal, however we pulled back one, and that gave us the Title. We will be looking for 3 points. If you play for a draw, you never know what will happen. Even if we don’t win and manage only one point that will be important for us, especially in a marathon league”, summed up Sen.

Bagan would heavily depend on their foreign recruits, especially strikers CoB

Bengaluru FC will be missing injured Eugenson Lyngdoh and Udanta Singh and Ranjan Singh, out on National duty in the ongoing South Asian Games.