Blues Take On Churchill Brothers In Last Game Of The League Season At The Kanteerava
Bengaluru FC will look to end what’s been a tough I-League season on a high when Albert Roca’s men square off against Churchill Brothers at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. Irrespective of the outcome against the side from Goa, the Blues will finish the season in fourth place but Roca has asked for his side to say the perfect ‘thank you’ to the club faithful.
“Unfortunately we cannot go any higher than fourth position but we’ve built some fantastic momentum and we need to keep that going. We won’t be taking our foot off the pedal. More importantly, Saturday gives us the chance to thank the fans for sticking by us through the season and I’m sure the boys will make most of it,” said Roca on the eve of the game.
If the away leg of this fixture is anything to go by,Saturday’s clash will be fiery to say the least. The Blues, in going down 2-1 at the Tilak Maidan in January, suffered their first ever defeat in Goa, one that was laden with temperamental clashes and a John Johnson sending off.
“We can’t undo games and results from the past. It’s always about the present and as it stands, we have something good going for us,” was Roca’s take when asked about the result away from home.
The Blues come into this game on the back of a 7-0 drubbing of DSK Shivajians last Saturday at the Fortress and Roca would be keen that his side replicates the kind of football dished out that night. Skipper Sunil Chhetri was a creative livewire, scoring two and setting up four goals while the midfield was calling the shots with some impressive distribution. An equally important statistic is that the Blues have now gone 450 minutes without conceding a goal and with centre-back Juan Gonzalez returning from suspension, Bengaluru have a good chance of extending that run.
Sixth-placed Churchill meanwhile recorded their biggest win of the season too last week – a 6-1 defeat of Chennai City FC. Kyrgyz midfielder Bektur Uulu scored four in the game while Ansumana Kroma and Brandon Fernandes scored a goal each against a ten-man Chennai.
In the Blues’ camp, CK Vineeth and Udanta Singh’s return to fitness will hand Roca a selection headache. The duo came on as second half substitutes against DSK with Vineeth even getting his name on the scoresheet with a thumping left-footer to make it 6-0. But much of the Spaniard’s team selection could also depend on Bengaluru’s trip to Bangladesh where they take on Abahani Limited Dhaka in the return leg of the Group E fixture of the AFC Cup.