ISL 2017-18: Bengaluru FC look to sign new striker as Braulio Nóbrega replacement
Bengaluru FC are looking to replace Braulio Nóbrega after the Spanish forward suffered a season ending injury. With India's transfer window officially closing on February 15, the table toppers have about a week before finalising on the striker's replacement.
Apart from Nóbrega's injury, Bengaluru FC do not have any cause for concern as they shored up their position at the top of the league table by picking up their fourth win in a row in the 2017/18 ISL season. They vanquished Chennaiyin FC by a hefty 3-1 margin in a high-voltage clash away from home on Tuesday.
At the post-match press conference, Bengaluru coach Albert Roca revealed, "We are looking to replace him (Nóbrega) and it is not easy as a lot of windows (in different countries) have already closed. We have until the 15th (of February) and let's see if we can sign someone."
Bengaluru had a fantastic start, scoring in just the second minute of the game through Thongkosheim Haokip to stun the home side. Chennaiyin equalized through Francis Fernandes.
After the teams went into the halftime break on level terms, the visitors scored twice more in the second half to emerge victorious. Bengaluru’s two leading scorers Miku and Sunil Chhetri found the back of the net to seal the match.
Roca affirmed, "We are lucky to have these two players, Miku and Sunil in our team. But it's also about having good balance. In some previous games I think we were trying to find out what's our best option with regards to which foreigners to play. It depends on the balance and also the performance of a player. But the games are coming quick, so we have to adjust quickly. But yes, I'm happy to have these two guys."
He added, "It was a very good game I think. Chennaiyin are one of the most difficult teams we have played till now. They really pushed us. When we scored, they came back and scored. They could have scored again with the penalty. We were a bit lucky in some moments of the game. But at the same time I think we had a good game."
There were two moments in the second half that saw the game swing in favour of Bengaluru. First, Chennaiyin captain and key defender Henrique Sereno was sent off after picking up a second yellow. And then the hosts were given a chance to get back in the match when they were given a penalty. But Jeje Lalpekhlua’s effort was easily saved by Bengaluru keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Roca felt, "Scoring a goal early is always good. Today everybody knew against Chennaiyin it's impossible to win just by keeping possession of the ball. We had some more opportunities to score. But yes, they pushed because they have a good squad, good players. And then as I said, second half, it could have been completely different."
"These two moments - the penalty which they missed and the red card - surely gave us an advantage. We were able to take control of the situation and I think in the last 20 minutes we didn't suffer much. And I think us winning was quite fair."
The win meant Bengaluru FC now have four wins on the trot, including three in a row away from home. And their coach was rightly pleased. He stated, "First objective is the playoffs. We have only four games left. But I'm happy after four wins in a row. And today it was not just about the result, but also getting the confidence when we play the good teams."
When asked if the confidence was extremely high in the squad after this impressive run, Roca added with a smile that they should not get ahead of themselves. The Spaniard insisted, "We have to remain humble. We are leading clearly at the moment. We have to keep looking for the three points each game. Let's just keep going for the moment and get ready for the playoffs."
Bengaluru FC will next play host to FC Goa at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday.