Bengaluru FC will look to keep their juggling act going when they square off against NEROCA FC for a place in the semifinal of Super Cup, at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar today. The Blues beat Gokulam FC in the pre-quarterfinal before flying to Guwahati for a 3-1 AFC Cup win over Aizawl FC.
“We are one of the best teams in the country and it means we have to compete in more competitions than most other teams, it’s as simple as that. I have to manage the squad, and the level of commitment from every one of my players makes that job a lot easier. We won’t have it easy against NEROCA who have shown us, in the I-League and in this competition, that they are a team with quality,” said Roca after the Blues put in a session at the Kalinga Stadium, on Thursday.
With an eye on a spot in the last four, the Spanish manager chose to rest a host of players including Udanta Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Juanan Gonzalez and Rahul Bheke for the game against New Radiant. Skipper Sunil Chhetri was a 70th-minute change and made the difference with an assist for the winner. “Will I be playing a different squad from the one that beat New Radiant? I guess I will because it’s only normal to do so. There were boys on the bench who weren’t used and there were those who weren’t on the squad at all. I have a pool of names to choose from and that’s a nice position to be in,” he added.
Like Bengaluru, NEROCA too beat a team from Kerala to progress to the quarterfinal, but not without some late drama. Down two goals to David James’ Kerala Basters, the team from Manipur staged a remarkable second-half comeback to win 3-2. “When you win a game like NEROCA did, you begin backing yourself heavily and we will have to be wary of that. They have some quality foreign signings and the Indian boys work really hard too. The margin for error is very little,” he added.
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