3/14/2018 12:27:53 AM (GMT+3)

Bengaluru FC take on Abahani Dhaka in AFC Cup opener

Bengaluru FC take on Abahani Dhaka in AFC Cup opener

BENGALURU, India: One of India’s finest clubs, Bengaluru FC will hope to get their AFC Cup Group Stage campaign on a winning note when they host Bangladesh’s Abahani Dhaka in a Group E match here on Wednesday.

The Albert Roca-coached side have made it through to the zonal phase after winning the preliminary and play-off stages.

The Blues are in the Group Stage for a record fourth season and equalled East Bengal’s record (2010-13) by an Indian club.

“It’s an honour to play in the AFC Cup for yet another season. Our performances in the last two editions showed how much we have grown in strength. We need to make our efforts and consistency count,” said Roca.

With the grand final of the Indian Super League set to take place on Saturday, the Spaniard is expected to field a similar starting XI from the qualifiers where youngsters got a look in.

Harmanjot Khabra and Nishu Kumar are still recovering from injuries and will not play any part in the fixture.

Abahani, who qualified for this season’s AFC Cup by winning the 2017-18 Bangladesh Premier League, began their Group Stage campaign with a narrow 0-1 home loss to New Radiant SC a week back.

They will miss Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba Nwadialu, who was sent off in the opener. In his absence, the visitors’ frontline will be led by fellow Nigerian Emeka Onuoha along with Japanese medio Seija Kojima.

The game kicks off at 8.00 pm.