Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC will be facing a formidable opponent in the form of South China in the first leg round of sixteen of the Asian CupReuters

Bengaluru FC travel to Hong Kong to take on South China in the round of sixteen first leg match of the AFC Cup at the Mong Kok stadium.

After getting eliminated from the qualifying stages of the AFC Champions Cup, Bengaluru FC have done well in their debut campaign in the AFC Cup, progressing to the knockout stages of the competition after finishing second in their group, behind Indonesian side Persipura Jayapura.

However, now they face a formidable opponent in the form of South China in the last 16 of the competition, as the Hong Kong based-club have been dominant in the AFC Cup this season, winning all their fixtures in the group stages.

Despite the Blues being the underdogs in this fixture against South China, manager Ashley Westwood insists that his side will try to do their best on Tuesday.

"We've come here to do our best and will try putting on a good performance," the Englishman told Bengaluru's official website. "At this club, we've always been positive and strong and that doesn't change."

Westwood feels that his side have managed to get a fairly good idea of the style of football in Hong Kong due to them facing Eastern Sports Club in their preseasons matches.

"We played a team from Hong Kong, Eastern Sports Club, on our preseason tour and we got a little feel of the football from there," he added. "As far as South China are concerned, we've managed to watch a few recent videos, have studied them and roughly know what they are about. We aren't going into the game blind."

Although Westwood admits that South China are an "organised" side that give nothing away, he insists that Bengaluru will go into this game "with nothing to lose."

"They have good foreigners, are an organised side and are hard to break down but we are under no pressure. We've done well to make it this far in our AFC Cup debut and we go into the game with nothing to lose," he added.

South China, on the other hand, will also hope to get a good result against Bengaluru on Tuesday so that will have an advantage going into the second leg.

The Hong Kong side have been excellent in the AFC Cup so far, winning all their six games in the group stages where they scored 19 goals and conceded only three.

Considering their form in the Cup this season, and the fact that they have already finished their domestic campaign, South China are the favourites in this fixture.

However, South China assistant manager Ricardo Rambo insists that his side cannot afford to take Bengaluru FC lightly on Tuesday.

"They may have an important match back home but it doesn't mean they won't give their best in Hong Kong," Rambo told South China Morning Post, referring to Bengaluru's FC important I-League title deciding fixture against Mohun Bagan on Sunday.

"They have some quality overseas players and their domestic legion is also strong."

Expected Lineups: South China: Mora Medrano; Chak Ting Fung, Chan Wai Ho, Bojan Mališić, Jack Sealy; Chan Siu Kwan, Leung Chun Pong, Lo Kong Wai; Chan Siu Ki, Daniel McBreen, Mahama Awal.

Bengaluru FC: Lalthuammawia Ralte; Lalchhuan Mawia, John Johnson, Curtis Osano, Rino Anto; Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Joshua Walker, Shankar Sampingiraj; Sunil Chhetri, CK Vinneth, Sean Rooney.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 8:00 pm local time (5.30 pm IST, 1 pm BST) start with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 4. The AFC Cup round of sixteen fixture can also be watched via live streaming online in India on

Viewers in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan can watch also catch the match live on Star Sports 4. Audience in Hong Kong can watch the match live on Fox Sports 3.

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