Bengaluru host Lao Toyota in AFC Cup, eye on knock-outs (Preview)

Bengaluru, April 26 (IANS) Newly-crowned I-League champions Bengaluru FC will eye a place in knock-out stages when they host Lao Toyota FC from Laos in a crucial Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup fixture at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.

Bengaluru, after four rounds and with six points, are second in Group H behind holders Johor Darul Ta’zim, who are in pole position (12 points). A win against Lao could take Ashley Westwood’s side on the brink of the knock-out stages for a second successive season.

“We are looking forward to the game tomorrow. We are champions of the I-league and are looking to back up our good show by doing well tomorrow. We have players that are fresh and hungry and are looking forward to the game. It’s pretty vital that we get three points,” Westwood said in a club release.

Bengaluru lost 1-2 away at Laos. But Westwood’s side will be keen to make amends at home.

“In the away leg, we made a very early mistake and went down 2-0. When we did score, it was too little too late. We played fairly well but maybe didn’t deserve a win,” said Westwood.

The Englishman rested a big number of his regular starters for the inconsequential last game of the I-League against Mohun Bagan with an eye on the Lao fixture. But they were humbled 0-5.

Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Kim Song Yong, John Johnson, Michael Collins and Udanta Singh had no part to play in the game while Rino Anto came on as a second half substitute. “We rested players for the game against Bagan with a reason. We want to win and will have to play our best team tomorrow.”

Westwood said their opponents were a “well balanced team with good foreigners and a bit of pace”.



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