AFC Cup 2016: 4 reasons why Bengaluru FC deserve to be in the finals
Bengaluru FC face Qatar’s Air Force Club in a historical match on Saturday. Becoming the first Indian team to feature in the final of the AFC Cup, Indian fans worldwide are hoping for one last moment of magic from their heroes.
A lot has already been written and talked about Bengaluru FC’s dramatic and incredible rise in the Indian footballing diaspora since its inception in 2013. Bengaluru FC is the only Indian club to have won the I-League in its debut season, a feat they managed in 2013-14.
Also read: 5 talking points ahead of the AFC Cup final
Here, we take a look at four key reasons why Bengaluru FC deserve to be in the finals of the AFC Cup, one of the biggest club competitions in the continent.
#1 Albert Roca’s introduction
While no credit can be taken away from Ashley Westwood, it is Albert Roca’s introduction as coach which has seen the transformation in the side. Ashley Westwood had instilled a new dimension in Indian football to Bengaluru FC, while Roca has instilled discipline to the side, which has seen them playing a compact game in defence, something that is essential for winning long and tiring tournaments.
Roca played as a defender in his playing career and he surely knows a thing or two about defending. The key change in the side has been the introduction of defensive discipline, which has made Bengaluru FC a different team on the pitch. The team always maintains their solid shape, and in John Johnson and Juan Antonio, they have two centre-backs who love to keep the ball away from their half.
Rino Anto and Nishu Kumar have been two key players coming into the finals and deserve to start and give the much-needed attacking intent from the wings. The four clean-sheets already shows the ability of this back-line and the effect it has had on Amrinder Singh and Lalthuammawia Ralte, who is almost certain to start after Amrinder’s suspension from the final.