ISL: After 10 days in quarantine due to Covid outbreak, Bengaluru face tough test against Goa

It is not going to be an easy clash for Bengaluru, who have not played after their win over Mumbai City on January 10

Published: 22nd January 2022 07:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2022 07:22 PM   |  A+A-

The break may have come at a wrong time foro Bengaluru FC (Photo | ISL)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Covid-19 situation has crippled teams in the Indian Super League and Bengaluru FC are no exception. Several members of the club were infected with the virus, forcing the players and the coaching staff to remain in isolation. They were limited to their hotel rooms primarily. They finally resumed training as they prepare to face Goa FC at GMC Athletic Stadium on Sunday.

However, even after their training recommenced, one of their players, who was present in the practice session tested positive on Friday. The Covid situation is such that teams will have to wait till the match day to decide upon their players for the contest, which makes matters tough for the team management.

“We had 11 (Covid) cases including players and staff. We were more than 10 days in quarantine. Two days ago, we started with our training. Yesterday (Friday), we got a new case. The player was training with us, so we will see,” said Bengaluru coach Marco Pezzaiuoli. “However, the training was good. After staying in the room for 10 days, it was important for the players’ to get the feeling of the ball and build a good atmosphere. Not a lot of tactics as we don't know which player will join in the end.”

It is not going to be an easy clash for Bengaluru, who have not played after their win over Mumbai City on January 10. Their last game against ATK Mohun Bagan was postponed. In fact, the twelve-day gap might have come at a wrong time for the Blues, who were in an impressive unbeaten run in their last five matches. On the other hand Goa have played two games during the period. With the Gaurs possessing a good mix of Indian and foreign players, Pezzaiuoli is aware of the challenge that lie ahead, but is up for the contest.

“We need to be prepared, because I believe FC Goa are the best team when it comes to possession of the ball. They try to play offensive football, and have a good mix of foreign and Indian players. That said, we have a good squad and we will be up for the challenge, irrespective of the circumstances that have surrounded our preparation for the game,” said the gaffer.

Protecting players paramount

Pezzaiuoli is thinking beyond football, especially in terms of protecting the players, who are coming out of Covid. He believes at present, protecting the players should be the number one priority.

"We need to protect the players who are coming out of Covid now. We as a club want to do a heart echo and blood test and if there are some symptoms, be really sure with an MRI, to ensure the players are healthy. We see across the world a lot of players have heart issues after Covid. We want to win and play well but first of all, protecting players is important," he said. 


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