Bengaluru FC are on the cusp of making history as they take on Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta'zim in the second leg of the AFC Cup semi-final at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. The Blues hold a slender advantage going into the second leg by the virtue of an away goal scored in the first leg of the semi-final.
The journey for Bengaluru FC has been a special one in the last three years, winning the I-League twice and the Federation Cup once. But if they manage to go through to the finals, they’ll be the first Indian club to do so.
What happened in the first leg
The first leg was a tasty affair between the sides with JDT taking the lead in the second half via Pereyra Diaz, but Bengaluru fought back and were rewarded when midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh came up with a wonderful goal with his left foot.
The game had a very well defined pattern, with JDT having most of the possession and pushing Bengaluru FC on the backfoot. Bengaluru though often caught the home side on the counter and probably ended up having the better chances.
The best player of the game though was Amrinder Singh for Bengaluru, bailing his side out on multiple occasions throughout the first half to keep them alive in the tie.
Well, first of all, I have to say that this team (JDT) is still the champions of the competition. They are obviously the favourites for me. But it is a nice opportunity for us. We are in this second leg with a good result and can try to make the final for the first time in an Indian club’s history – Albert Roca (Bengaluru FC Head Coach and Manager)
It’s a difficult game for us. But we need just one goal. We know that Bengaluru is very strong in defence. But we have 90 minutes to score that one goal. Patience is key. We need to be patience and need to stick to our plan and play accordingly. – Mario Gomez (JDT Manger)
There are few notable absentees for Bengaluru. Left-back Keegan Pereira isn’t with the squad via a long-term injury, neither are the duo of Udanta Singh and Lalchhuanmawia (also known as Fanai) who will miss the game.
JDT have three big players suspended from the first leg by the virtue of picking up a yellow card, namely Pereyra Diaz, Martin Lucero and Amri Yahyah. It will be interesting to see how Mario Gomez replaces Diaz and Lucero, given they were by far the best players in their team in the first leg.
The stage is set for Bengaluru FC to create history. Playing at home to a probably packed stadium, against a side which is hampered by injuries and suspensions. The score from the first leg also plays right into the hands of the home side, keep the defensive structure and break on the counter.
JDT though are the defending champions, and they won’t go away easily by any stretch of the imagination.
I go for a 0-0 draw, and Bengaluru FC to get to the finals on away goals.
TV listings, Live Stream Info
Kick Off: 7:00 pm IST
Live Stream for the game is unavailable as per AFC Regulations.
TV Listings: The game will be telecasted live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1