Oscar Bruzon - Albert Roca has continued legacy left by Ashley Westwood

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Bengaluru FC has been the dominant force in South Asia for the last couple of years but Oscar Bruzon feels his New Radiant is ready to step up...

For Oscar Bruzon, the last nine months have been phenomenal in his coaching career. He joined Maldivian side New Radiant SC in June 2017 and almost everything he has touched in the island nation since then has turned into gold.

A Dhivehi Premier League, FA Cup and President's Cup later, Bruzon has successfully guided New Radiant SC to two wins in their first two 2018 AFC Cup Group E games already this season. 

Similarly, India's Bengaluru FC have also amassed six points in their two outings and on Tuesday, these two sides clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Both will look to gain an edge in terms of qualifying for the inter-zone semi-final as they approach the halfway stage in the group.

"As both teams are equal in the standings in points and goal difference, and as there is head to head criteria in case of a draw in points at the end of the group stage, the importance of these two duels (home and away with Bengaluru FC) is capital to qualify for the next stage", Bruzon told Goal.

Bengaluru FC, since its inception in 2013 have been one of the more successful and decorated clubs in this part of the world. The Southern Eagles have made it to the AFC Cup final in 2016 and bowed out in the inter-zone final last season, both under the tutelage of Albert Roca.

Speaking on his counterpart, the Spaniard only had words of praise for his compatriot. He said, "Albert has given continuity to the legacy left by Ashley (Westwood, Bengaluru's former manager).

Oscar Bruzon

"I think he has strengthened the club, especially, the depth of the squad; the combinative football they are displaying and their efficiency in the set-pieces. Also, in this current season, it has been very difficult for the away teams to get any points at the Kanteerava," the former Mumbai City FC man expressed.

Bruzon's side brushed away United Victory 4-1 in a Male League game a week ago but he remained cautious of his players' workload going into the crunch game in Bengaluru. "We are facing some issues due to the National Team commitments in the last week but players are recovering.

"Hopefully we will have all the players available for the game. We will clarify it at tonight’s (Monday's) training session," he said with as many as eight players from his squad involved in Maldives' 3-2 loss to Singapore and a 7-0 win over Bhutan in the recent international window.

Bruzon has been undefeated as coach of New Radiant for almost eight months in his last 22 official games. With only one team from Group E progressing to the next stage, the former Mumbai FC coach expressed confidence in the Maldivian side to take the next step in terms of continental competitions, this time, possibly at the expense of Bengaluru FC.

"We are ambitious, excited and highly motivated to continue our good run in the international context," the 40-year-old concluded.

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