Bengaluru FC takes on Club Maziya from the Maldives in their last group game of the Group D in the AFC Cup. Both teams are out of contention for a place in the knockout stages but will be fighting for pride, and will be looking to bow out of the competition on a high.
The Blues lost out narrowly to ATK Mohun Bagan and had a goalless draw against Bashundhra Kings The match against Bashundhra Kings had a point of controversy, as it looked like BFC had a goal ruled out because of an error by the referee. The header by Alan Costa from a corner swung in by Cleiton looked to have crossed the line but the referee did not think it was the case. The whole of the ball had to cross the whole of the line, and the cameras also indicated that the whole of the ball had not crossed the line. If the decision would have gone either way it would have kept Bengaluru FC in the tournament.
Maziya have lost both their matches in the group stage, and are yet to open their account in terms of points. They are an opposition Bengaluru FC should vary about, the Maldvies team had knocked out BFC out of the AFC Cup in 2020 on penalty shootouts. The defeat should be on the back of the minds of Bengaluru FC players, and they will be eying no less than victory against them.
When you look back at last season, BFC finished seventh with a lot of experienced players. We've changed things up, we've brought in some young players - some of them from the I-League - and we showed them the next step.I hope tomorrow we make another step forward for our mentality. It's not easy, but in life it's not always about winning. We want to progress and move forward regardless of the last result, said coach Marco Pezzaiuoli on his squad, and what he expects from the team in the last match of the game.
I don't want to finish in the 7th place in the ISL, I want to finish in the top four. A lot of the teams have had players for a long time together, and that is not the case with us. We have a new squad, and the plan is to work hard and do the best we can. We will get a couple more foreigners for the League, and I believe we have a good squad. I think we have a really good team, with a lot of National Team players, young players and experienced like Pratik, added coach Marco on what he expects in the transfer window, and how has the AFC Cup helped them prepare for the ISL season.
The match between Club Maziya and Bengaluru FC kicks off at 9:30pm IST.