The official website of Bengaluru FC uploaded a video last evening titled, ‘The Big Comeback’, in which the backroom staff, as well as several Blues players speak about a mysterious person’s long-awaited return to fitness and his possible involvement in the semi-final of the AFC Cup at the Kanteerava Stadium against Johor Darul Takzim in Bangalore.
New manager Alberto Roca, has already influenced proceedings at the club and stamped his authority on the team making several purchases in the transfer market, with Cameron Watson coming in from the A-League and Spanish duo of veteran midfielder Alvaro Rubio and defender Juanan Gonzalez
All three new signings featured in both legs of the quarter-final clash against Singaporean side Tampines Rovers and the first leg of the semi-final against JDT. It remains to be seen if the newly appointed manager will stick to the same starting eleven, he will have a selection headache ahead of him with a fully fit squad.
The identity of the player Chhetri and Johnson are talking about also remains to be seen, but the Bengaluru faithful are very positive since the release of the video and hope it to be one of two key players in Shankar Sampingraj or Udanta Singh.
The Malaysian Tigers will go into the second leg without their prolific Argentine duo Jorge Pererya Diaz and Juan Martin Lucero who will miss the tie because of suspensions earned in the first leg. Mario Gomez has a job on his hands and will be wary of the strengths the Bengaluru club possess, although he knows his record against the home team is a good one.
Roca will look to crowd out the midfield and stop Johor from advancing into profitable positions down the channel and along the flanks. The home team will have to try and retain as much possession as possible and use effective counters to break down the Johor defence.
A crunch encounter awaits and the home team have a chance to do what no other Indian club has done and progress to an AFC Cup final, but they will have to stop a dynamic attacking team in defending champions, Johor Darul Takzim, who will look to reach another cup final and earn the chance at a shot of becoming winners of this prestigious tournament two times in a row.