AFC Cup 2018: New Radiant's Oscar Bruzon - Our main rivals will be Bengaluru FC

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ISL
After beating former I-League champions Aizawl FC at home, the Maldivian club have set their sights to square off with the ISL side already...

Maldivian champions New Radiant SC beat their Indian counterparts Aizawl FC 3-1 in a Group E game of the 2018 AFC Cup on Wednesday.

With two wins in two, the Blues go top of the table with 6 points. Head coach Oscar Bruzon complimented his side, who came from behind after 1-0 down, thanks to a perfect hat-trick from skipper Ali Ashfaq.

"We played against a very tough opposition. It was even in the first half but knew effects of playing in this humid weather will catch them on. We knew if we were consistent, at the end of the game, the openings would come. So, the gameplan was perfect today. New Radiant were the better team on the pitch.

"We cannot underestimate anyone in the AFC Cup if you want to go forward. They were the champions of the Indian league and never have we underestimated them. After the first goal, there was not much modification in tactics. We wanted to win having the ball and we wanted them to go round in the last part of the game, the plan was perfect today.

"The only thing that surprised me is that they didn't wait for us, they tried to come up but in the moment they realised that we had better skills while on the ball, they stepped back and started to play long and that went in our favour. We recovered the ball very quickly and in the second half, we had longer possessions, he said.

The former Mumbai City FC assistant coach wore a relaxed look after leading the pack with Bengaluru FC next. "To go forward in the tournament, our main rivals will be Bengaluru but now we have the advantage. Let us see if they can catch us.

"We are top of the table and relaxed, if they catch us, then the two games will be a bit different. We are ready for this fight. We are scared of nothing. This team has a strong personality and a strong winning mentality, we are going to keep it until the end," he stated.

His counterpart Santosh Kashyap echoed his thought on every department. "The better team won. We got the lead but the weather turned out to be a concern. Difficult to cope with ten men. They started to play possession and build-up play with good movement from the wings. Our defenders caused silly mistakes. They came back very strongly in the second half," he said.

"For most of our Indian players, this is the first time they are playing outside India (this season). They fought tough but felt difficult. It will be a good learning experience for them."

Kashyap too hailed Bengaluru FC as the team to beat in the South Asian zone. "I have always said Bengaluru FC is one of the toughest, always they have the advantage. Now with two wins, Radiant as well. I believe these two (have the advantage). But, in football, any team can win on any given day.

"But, on paper, Bengaluru is the toughest. It was our first match. Let us get some points from our home games and we will have time to work on our mistakes and try to do well in the future matches and try my best to do well with this young squad," he concluded.

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