AFC Cup Qualifiers, TC Sports Club vs Bengaluru FC: Preview, Match Time, Live Streaming Infomation
Bengaluru FC will take on TC Sports Club of Maldives on Tuesday, in the first leg of the playoff round. A spot in Group E of the AFC Cup is on the line with Bengaluru FC aiming to take a lead away from home. Despite the suggestions of India's external ministry to avoid a trip to the Maldives in the current situation, the ISL side has gone ahead with the plan to play in Male.
The island nation is currently in a state of emergency for 15 days. But due to the fear of giving away a 3-0 lead to the opponents in the case of a no-show and because of the possibility of AFC sanctions, Bengaluru FC landed in the Maldives on Sunday.
But the ISL league leaders are expected to rotate their side heavily, just as they did against Transport United in the previous round, because of the looming league fixture against FC Pune City on Friday, February 16.
Bengaluru FC have travelled to the troubled nation without the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Juanan Gonzalez and Dimas Delgado as it is predicted that Toni Dovale may be the only foreign player that will start the game for the visitors. Rahul Bheke is expected to start for the Blues.
Meanwhile, 'Trust and Care' Sports Club will be without the services of their no.1 custodian Dymitry Asnin. The Belgian is sidelined due to a broken hand. Ibrahim Nadheem Adam is expected to deputise in his absence.
TC Sports Club reached the playoff round after beating Bangladesh side Saif Sporting 4-1 over two legs. Anatoliy Vlasichev scored all four for the Maldives club. This is their first outing ever in Asian competition which makes this tie against Bengaluru FC arguably their biggest match to date. Meanwhile, BFC got the better of Bhutan's Transport United in the previous round, beating them 3-0 over two encounters.
Mohamed Nizam: "We have to believe that Bengaluru is a tough team, but TC Sports Club will try to get a result from own team strength. And also will try to take home advantage. In many ways, Indian football is on the top."
Albert Roca: "The game against TC Sports Club is going to be a tougher challenge than the one we faced in Bhutan. They have made it to this stage on the back of two good games against the team from Bangladesh. Their confidence along with being comfortable with the humid weather that we aren’t used to, making the challenge bigger."
Venue: National Stadium, Male
Kick off: 9:30 pm IST