ISL 2017/18: Bengaluru FC stars Dimas Delgado and Lenny Rodrigues credit Albert Roca for tactically outwitting FC Goa
As Bengaluru FC celebrated their qualification for the ISL semi-finals with a 2-0 win over FC Goa at the Kanteerava Stadium on Friday night, Dimas Delgado was also celebrating his first goal in a Blues shirt. The Spanish midfielder had scored when the scoreline read 1-0 with Goa slowly growing back into the game.
"I'm very happy to score and open my account in the ISL," Delgado said after the game. "I'm also happy that it helped the side extend the lead and make sure we had a comfortable lead until the end of the game.
"It was an important game and we are in the semi-finals, so I'm very happy and humble to keep working."
Delgado also credited the fans for their performance on a rainy night at the Kanteerava.
"The fans were awesome like always," he said. "To play at the Fortress is always nice because they make our jobs easier. They support us from the beginning until the end. Together we can achieve something more."
Delgado and Lenny credit Roca's plans to stop FC Goa
Coached by fellow Spaniard Sergio Lobera, FC Goa are a team that are comfortable on the ball and a treat to watch when they are on song. However, Bengaluru's midfield put a stop to any sort of rhythm the Gaurs tried to build on with their pressing and defence.
And both Delgado and Lenny Rodrigues credited Roca's plans to stop them in midfield as one of the major points that were crucial in the win.
"We didn't let them play because we know that Goa also like to play with the ball and they are comfortable when they keep possession," Delgado said.
"The coach prepared us very well for the game and I think everyone did their job well to prevent them from playing their game."
Roca had deployed an extra midfielder by sacrificing a forward with Edu Garcia and Toni Dovale also starting the game instead of Udanta Singh who was rested.
"It was our plan," Lenny explained. "Our boss told us how we have to press them and defend. He outlined the plan and we gave our best and we played well to get a result."
Roca's midfield rotation required: Lenny
Although Roca made a number of substitutions to the team that won in Chennai earlier this week, the rotation seemed to work as the Blues romped to a 2-0 win.
"It's up to the coach to settle the midfield combination," Lenny said after the game. "Sometimes I play, sometimes it's Erik [Paartalu] or Dimas [Delgado]. It's the coach that decides whom he should play because we have so many matches."
Lenny explains that it was important to have rotation with games coming thick and fast for the Blues. Not only do they have ISL games, but the two-legged AFC Cup playoff will be held in February as Bengaluru take on Maldives side TC Sports.
"With AFC Cup matches [also in the calendar], we get enough rest," the Blues midfielder said. Then we can be fresh for the AFC Cup."