AFC Cup 2018: Bengaluru FC drop Miku and John Johnson from 30-man squad
ISL table toppers Bengaluru FC have dropped the likes of star Venezuelan striker Miku and English defender John Johnson from their 30-man squad for the AFC AFC Cup Preliminary and Play-off stages.
Miku's exclusion from the side comes as a huge surprise, as the Venezuelan has been one of the prolific goalscorers in the ISL this season. Heis currently the joint top goalscorer in the league with nine goals, along with FC Goa's Coro.
To add to that star centre-back John Johnson has also been left out of the BFC squad.
“It’s very important for us to make use of the entire squad. We’re the only ISL team playing Asian competition this season, and our schedule is hectic," said Roca in a statement. "But this is what we always wanted, to represent India in Asia, so there’s no complaints."
Only four foreign players are allowed in the squad for the AFC Cup qualifiers, and Bengaluru FC head coach Albert Roca has named the likes of Juanan Gonzalez, Dimas Delgado and Toni Dovale as his three regular foreigners. Meanwhile, star Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu fills the Asian foreigner quota.
Roca has also called up five players, Asheer Akhtar, Myron Mendes, Cletus Paul, Robinson Singh Khumukcham and Bidyananda Singh, from Bengaluru FC's 'B' team.
"With the competition rules, we can only play four foreigners so that provides a good opportunity for all our Indian boys, especially the youngsters to rise to the occasion," Roca further said. "Our ‘B’ team players have been working hard, and that’s why they have been brought into the squad and I hope they will respond to the occasion.”
The Blues are set to host 2017 Bhutanese champions Transport United FC in a two-legged tie in the Preliminary qualifiers. The first leg, which will be an away tie for Sunil Chhetri's men, is set to take place on January 23, while the second leg will be held on January 30 in Bengaluru.
Should they progress from this group, Bengaluru FC will face the winners of the Preliminary match between Saif Sports Club of Bangladesh and TC Sports Club from the Maldives.
Bengaluru FC squad:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Abhra Mondal, Calvin Abhishek
Defenders: Zohmingliana Ralte, Juanan Gonzalez, Joyner Lourenco, Asheer Akhtar, Rahul Bheke, Collin Abranches, Harmanjot Khabra, Prashanth Kalinga, Nishu Kumar, Subhasish Bose
Midfielders: Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado, Lenny Rodrigues, Malsawmzuala, Leon Augustine, Robinson Singh Khumukcham, Bidyananda Singh, Myron Mendes, Boithang Haokip, Alwyn George
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Daniel Lalhlimpuia. Toni Dovale, Cletus Paul, Thongkhosiem Haokip