Bengaluru FC face Salgaocar with an eye on pole position
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC will look to seize the chance of opening a three point lead at the top of the table when they host Goa club Salgaocar SC at the Kanteerava Stadium, in B engaluru, on Sunday. With three rounds of football left, the Blues will look to make the most of fellow title contenders Mohun Bagan’s 2-1 defeat to Sporting Clube de Goa on Saturday as the League nears what could be one of its closest finishes.
Bengaluru FC enjoy a 3-0 record over Salgaocar in the League but while the numbers suggest domination, the battles have always been closely fought affairs. “Results wise, you might never say they’ve given us a tough time but we’ve always had really close games against Salgaocar. It’s a really tricky game and it’s one that we need to win so we need to be really focused to get something out of it. We have three games left in the season and we’re going to have to win them all to be serious contenders for the title,” said Westwood while addressing the press on Saturday.
Happy to get first goal: Udanta Singh
The Blues have churned out regularly consistent performances in all departments through the season and it’s little surprise that Westwood’s team have the best goals-for tally this far. The defence too has been hard to get past and with 16 goals conceded, is second to only Bagan.
It took a Robin Singh goal close to 10 minutes from time to give Bengaluru a win against a stubborn Salgaocar in March at the Fatorda Stadium in March and Westwood reckons Sunday’s task will be anything but easy. “The last time we played Salgaocar, they made it very difficult for us and they were hard to break down. They have some quality players in Douhou Pierre, who can score at any given time on the pitch and Darryl Duffy, who is a goal-poacher of sorts,” said the gaffer.
Westwood is expected to ring in a number of changes from the squad he put out against Persipura Jayapura on Tuesday. John Johnson, Joshua Walker, Sean Rooney and Rino Anto – all look certain to make the squad. Even Udanta Singh, who scored his first goal for the club in the AFC Cup game against the Indonesian side, has made a case for a start and it will be interesting to see the combination Westwood goes with.
“It made me really happy getting my first goal for the club. An injury at the start of the season kept me out but I’m slowly getting there and feel good about contributing to the team during what is a very important phase. There’s absolutely no pressure on us and the dressing room is a happy place. Let’s hope we go and get the results we need,” said Udanta. Bengaluru travel to Goa where they face Dempo before hosting Bagan for the season finale on May 31.