Aizawl, Jan 15 (IANS) New entrants Aizawl FC will have a tough challenge ahead when they face a strong Bengaluru FC side in an I-League encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium here on Saturday. The two teams have had contrasting opening matches in the season as Bengaluru beat Salgaocar 2-1 and Aizawl lost 1-3 to defending champions Mohun Bagan last weekend.
In the match against Bagan, Aizawl’s defence were caught napping at times as Cornell Glen struck twice and Balwant Singh scored the other. Aizawl’s only goal came from rival defender Pritam Kotal’s own goal. Bengaluru, on the other hand, come into the game at the back of a win. Bengaluru forward C.K. Vineeth struck the opening goal while Sunil Chhetri netted the winner after Darryl Duffy equalised for Salgaocar.
Bengaluru have a strong line up and stopping them from scoring would be a challenge for the hosts. Chhetri, with his superb free-kick goal in the first match, is on form and will be primed to score again on Saturday. Midfielders like Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Thoi Singh were mobile in the first match and will be expected to constantly feed the likes of Chhetri and CK Vineeth upfront.
But Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood would like his defenders to buck up as they were disorganised against Salgaocar even conceding once in the match. The Aizawl side full of youngsters and can hit them on the counter attack. Coach Manuel Retamero Fraile is hoping his speedy players can trouble Bengaluru and help them get their first points in their debut I-League season.