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BFC downplays back-to-back I-League, AFC matches

 Agencies |  2016-12-22 23:50:38.0  |  Bengaluru

Bengaluru Football Club COO Mustafa Ghouse, on Wednesday, said the team will not face problems due to back-to-back matches in I-League and AFC Champions League as it has learnt to balance things in the last three years.

“We have been balancing between I-League and AFC commitments for the last three years and we seem to have handled things well. It won’t be any different this time around too,” Ghouse said in an interview here. AFC Cup finalist Bengaluru FC will have a hectic schedule, playing against Churchill Brothers in Goa in a fifth round I-League match on January 27, before boarding a flight to Jordan for their preliminary stage 2 match of the AFC Champions League against Al Wehdat SC on January 31.

Ghouse said it is something that a team have to be ready for when competing in two competitions. “While it may seem like a telling schedule, it is something you have to be ready for when you are competing in two competitions,” he said.

The two single-legged ties against Jordanian club assume importance because it would decide the fate of Bengaluru FC in AFC Cup. Defeat in either of the games will see Bengaluru FC drop down to the group stages of the AFC Cup and playing in the South Region. Despite the “busy” schedule, Ghouse exuded confidence that the boys would be in top physical shape to face the challenge. 

“We are confident that the boys will be in top physical shape to face this challenge,” he said. However, Al Wehdat are no pushovers as they have won the Jordanian League in the last three seasons. They had entered 2011 AFC Cup semifinal, but failed to advance beyond the round-of-16 this year.

Bengaluru FC will begin their I-League title defence against Shillong Lajong at home in the inaugural game of the new season on January 7. 

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