3/6/2019 4:42:45 PM (GMT+3)

ISL: Bengaluru face NorthEast United in first-leg semis

ISL: Bengaluru face NorthEast United in first-leg semis

GUWAHATI, Assam: Bengaluru FC take on NorthEast United FC in the first leg of the Indian Super League (ISL) semifinal here on Thursday.

The slate has been wiped clean and the margins get finer as men find themselves at this stage of the competition for the second year running and while the Blues’ Spanish boss lauded his team’s consistency, he said the league season would be down to three good games from here.

“It’s very clear for us at this point. To win this competition, we have to get the best from these play-off games. I think we have shown a lot of consistency because we have been at the top of the table for a lot of weeks,” said Bengaluru coach Carles Cuadrat. “In the last two seasons, we’ve had 74 points and finished on top both times but it counts for nothing if we lose in the play-offs or the final.”

The Blues claimed a 1-1 draw through a late equaliser from Chencho Gyeltshen when they met last time in December.

The Bhutanese winger, who is currently on loan to NEROCA FC, was on the scoresheet once again when Bengaluru won 2-1 in the reverse fixture.

Bengaluru haven’t won on the road since the turn of the year, but Cuadrat denied that his side had a bad run of form.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying that Bengaluru are not in a good form at the moment. But, since Christmas, we’ve won two games. I don’t believe we’re having a bad run of form,” said the Spaniard.

The Blues will be without defender Gursimrat Singh Gill, who picked up a suspension in the final League game against Jamshedpur FC, and Erik Paartalu, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Spanish midfielder Alex Barrera, who replaced the Australian on a short-term deal last week, may feature in Cuadrat’s plans for tomorrow.