After defeating Abahani Dhaka 4-0 at the Bangabandhu Stadium on Wednesday, Bengaluru FC progressed to the inter-zone play-offs on account of being table leaders of Group E in the 2018 AFC Cup. The Blues also benefited from Aizawl’s 2-1 win over New Radiant, which meant the Maldivian side finished second.
Reflecting on the game, coach Albert Roca stressed that the Indian outfit was well-prepared for this must-win fixture. ‘’We prepared for this game like a final. Everyone was very focused while coming here. From the very first minute, I saw my team concentrated.
''It has been a very tough season for us and we have finished with a very good game by qualifying further. We are very happy,’’ he commented.
The Spaniard believed that his side was in control of the match. Further, he expressed his target of at least matching the club’s inter-zonal play-off final appearance from last year’s AFC Cup campaign. ‘’In the first half, we had opportunities; we kept the ball and controlled the situation. In the second half, we had a few chances to score and I think we deserve the win.
‘’We are a team which is always sure that we want to win, in any competition. It is true that we came from a long season where we had to play initial rounds and now we are there (inter-zone playoffs); we are trying to at least achieve the same position we did last year.’’
Skipper Sunil Chhetri bagged three assists and a goal on Wednesday evening but the Indian international credited the entire squad for the win. ‘’We have been a team who works very hard together, right from the beginning of the first season. Who scores or assists is not important, what is important is to create chances.
‘’If I may say so, we had three targets this season: to win the ISL, to qualify (further in AFC Cup) and win the Super Cup. We achieved two out of three, not a bad season, eh?’’ he signed off.