It is business end of the the fourth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) and the second leg of the semi-final between Bengaluru and FC Pune City is evenly poised after a goalless draw at the Balewadi stadium in Pune. With the introduction of the away goal rule, things have got a bit complicated for the home side as if Pune manage to score a goal then Bengaluru must outscore them to progress into the final on March 17 at the Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore.
Albert Roca, the coach of Bengaluru FC, acknowledged that it would have been better had his team nicked in a goal in the first leg which would have put them in an advantageous position.
"Our intention was to have a good result. It was not so bad. It would have been better to have scored an away goal. Tomorrow (Sunday) it is a difficult game but we have things in our hand. It is another final. We have it in our mentality to fight," said Roca.
The Spanish coach is fully aware of Pune's attacking threat and has emphasised on being gallant in attack but at the same time to keep things tight at the back.
"Pune has a very good team and they have players in attack who can make the difference. We wanted to bring home a clean sheet because it would give us more options in the return leg. If we play good football we can score some goals, which is the only way to reach the final. I know they have a good team and can also score. We have to be aware and be ambitious at the same time. (We also need) to be consistent," said a cautious Roca.
The former assistant coach of FC Barcelona backed his players to come good under pressure given that they have participated in some big games already in their career.
"If I tell you something different, it wouldn't be the truth. Yes, there's pressure. But these boys have played big games before. We have players who have played AFC Cup semifinals, finals, Federation Cup finals. The intention is to go out there and do our best," said the former Galatasaray assistant coach.
Bengaluru has some injury problems and the coach informed about the injury status of Nishu Kumar and Harmanjot Khabra.
"Khabra and Nishu (Kumar) will not play. Victor Perez also has a niggle. So we have some players that will not be available. But this is not an excuse. We will field the strongest XI possible and a good bench, who can help us during the game," signed off Roca.