BENGALURU: Bengaluru FC's struggle in front of goal this Indian Super League season is a known fact. With 15 goals from 12 games, the defending champions have scored the least number of goals among the top-five teams in the league.
In those 15, Sunil Chhetri has scored eight. But as the league stage enters the final stretch, Bengaluru are determined to better their records and secure top spot and qualify for AFC Champions League. Their first hurdle en route that elusive berth is Mumbai City FC who they face at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday.
Jorge Costa's men ended their 13-match unbeaten run at home and while Bengaluru will look to avenge their loss, their target will be to carry on the momentum they gained beating FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC in the last two games.
"The league changes very fast. Mumbai won three in a row and looked one of the favourites, then they lost. So, for sure they are going to fight. We know Mumbai are a team that makes things difficult for us because they are a counter attacking team, without wanting too much of the ball. Normally in such games, you have to try and score first because otherwise it becomes easier for them. So we will try to be the first to score," said Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat.
In the last game, Bengaluru struggled to convert their chances against Mumbai in the game that they lost 2-3. This time, however, Bengaluru have bolstered their attack with Jamaican striker Deshorn Brown. While it remains to be seen whether the striker makes it to the starting XI, his goal scoring prowess will be a boost for Bengaluru morale.
"We’re working well. We will try to avoid being the first to concede and we want to make sure we put our chances away," said Cuadrat. "We have the Deshorn, who is fit and ready to play. He played his last game only a month ago, so he will be traveling to Mumbai with us," he added.
Coaches' meeting a great opportunity
Meanwhile, Cuadrat attended the inaugural ISL coaches' meeting in Mumbai on Monday. The Spaniard believes it will be a great opportunity for the coaches to discuss and share the knowledge for betterment of Indian football.
“It was a very interesting meeting because we know a lot about Indian football. We come form different countries and we try to give all the knowledge we have to try and improve football in India," he said. "We can take a lot of positive things from that and I hope the next decisions the league takes, there is a good influence.”