Free Press Journal

Bengaluru FC face Malaysian football team in AFC qualifier


Johor: I-League champions Bengaluru FC will take on Malaysian team Johor Darul Ta’zim in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League preliminary qualifying match to be played at the Larkin Stadium here Wednesday.

Bengaluru’s English coach Ashley Westwood said his boys are keen on giving a good account of themselves on the Asian stage.

“On the day, anything can happen. We’ll go into the game and apply ourselves correctly which is our framework and see where it takes us. You can’t be overconfident in football. We are hopeful. We are looking forward to our experience in Asian Football,” said Westwood at the pre-game press conference Tuesday.

Bengaluru have endured an unimpressive start to their I-League title defence, collecting only four points from as many matches which includes two defeats.

But their 4-0 away win against North Eastern side Royal Wahingdoh in the last game have boosted their confidence. But Westwood didn’t make too much of it with relation to the challenge in Johor.

“The morale in the camp is good. We’ve come here on the back of a four-nil victory which stands us in good stead. But this is football and change is regular. We don’t look at anything into the past and we’re looking forward to a good match,” he said.

“Hopefully we can do ourselves some justice and look what we can bring to the table. They are a good side with some quality players. It will be a difficult as they are the champion side.”

Johor, on their part, began their own title defence of the Malaysia Super League with a 2-0 win over Pahang last week and while Croatian coach Bojan Hodak admitted that playing at home will work for them but wasn’t willing to label themselves as favourites.

Johor would be without Argentine striker Luciano Figueroa who picked up an injury and the coach wasn’t willing to take a gamble on him. Westwood, on the other hand, has a completely fit squad to pick from.