Bengaluru FC have reached many milestones since their inception in 2013 -- be it in the Indian club football scene or internationally. After winning two I-League titles in a span of three years, the Bangalore-based football club made history this year after making it to the semifinals of the AFC Cup for the very first time.
On Wednesday, Bengaluru FC play their first leg AFC Cup 2016 semifinal game against Johor, the defending champions of the tournament, at the Larkin Stadium in Malaysia.
Johor are looking as lethal as ever at the moment. They won their their third-consecutive Malaysia Super League title in a row earlier this year, as well as the Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Charity Shield to make it three trophies in 2016.
Mario Gomez's side boast of star forwards in Martin Lucero and Pereyra Diaz, who hail from Argentina. The Indian football side definitely have to do their best in stepping up their defence and preventing the attacking-minded home side from making inroads.
"We know everything about the opponent. They deserve to be here and are a very strong rival. We are not scared about that," said Bengaluru FC coach Alberto Roca in the pre-match presser. "For us, it's a nice challenge and the aim is to put on a performance.
"We have tried to create a new philosophy and our team is improving. We are inching closer to the way we want to play. We know our limits, but we know we cannot sleep and we have to keep progressing as a team," the Spanish coach added.
Bengaluru FC will be without Udanta Singh, Lalchhuanmawia and Keegan Pereira (injuries and illness) in the match.
AFC Cup 2016 semifinals 1st leg: JDT vs Bengaluru FC is scheduled to kick off at 6:15 p.m. IST on Sept. 28.
Where to watch
India: TV: Star Sports 2/HD 2. Live streaming: Hotstar.
Malaysia: TV: Fox Sports 3. Live streaming: Fox Sports Play.
Live scores: official Bengaluru FC Twitter handle.