AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC to face off Maldives Club Eagles in group stage clash

AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC to face off Maldives Club Eagles in group stage clash
AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC to face off Maldives Club Eagles in group stage clash

AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC to face off Maldives Club Eagles in group stage clash: Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC will hope to begin their season on a positive note when they face Club Eagles of Maldives in a play-off match of the AFC Cup here on Sunday. The winners of the playoff, initially scheduled to be played in May but postponed due to the Covid-19
pandemic, will advance to Group D of the 2021 AFC Cup.

Bengaluru had scored an emphatic 5-0 victory over Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army in the preliminary round in April while Club Eagles had beaten Bhutan’s Thimphu FC 2-0.

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AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC to face off Maldives Club Eagles in group stage clash

Besides mercurial Chhetri leading the charge, Bengaluru head coach Marco Pezzoli can also rely on new signings Rohit Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Bidyashagar Singh, Jayesh Rane, Danish Farooq and Sarthak Golui.

Bengaluru, which finished at a lowly seventh in the Indian Super League, have thrived in the AFC Cup having finished runnersup in 2016 and making the Inter-Zonal final in 2017 and the semifinals a year later.

Club Eagles will go into the tie without Ahmed Rizwan, with head coach Mohamed Shazly confirming to local media that the striker is still recovering from an injury.

The home side, however, won’t be lacking in experience with the likes of Ali Ashfaq, Akram Abdul Ghanee, Ali Fasir, Mohamed Arif, Ismail Easa, Ahmed Hassan and Mohamed Faisal available for the match.

AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC to face off Maldives Club Eagles in group stage clash

The playoff winners will join another Indian side ATK Mohun Bagan, Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh and Maiziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives in Group D which kicks off in Male on Wednesday.

The winners will play ATK Mohun Bagan in their opening clash, with Bashundhara Kings to face Maziya Sports & Recreation.

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