Bengaluru, Oct 19: Armando Colaco, the former India national team coach is the first man from Indian football to guide Dempo Sports Club to the AFC Cup semifinal.
The second team to qualify for the semis was East Bengal in 2013. But Bengaluru FC is going to be the first Indian football club that has created a rare opportunity to reach the final of this prestigious football championship. [Bengaluru FC Vs Johor Darul Ta'zim - Preview] [Indian fans stand united ahead of BFC's AFC Cup clash]
And Colaco, former Dempo and East Bengal coach seems confident that Bengaluru FC will create history by making it into the final of AFC Cup for the first time from India.
Colaco when contacted over the phone in Goa on Wednesday morning, said: “I am sure Bengaluru FC has ninety percent chance of reaching the final of this championship.
"The first and foremost reason is that for the last two years, AFC Cup is being played on the zonal basis. It means the second-grade teams from East Asian countries take part initially.
"And the champion and runner-up teams then qualify for the main phase of the AFC Cup. So, Malaysian team Johor Darul is almost similar in standard comparing to Bengaluru FC.
"So on paper, the match is evenly poised. But on the field, Bengaluru will have an advantage that the Malaysian side will be missing their top three foreigners.
"So, I am sure that Bengaluru will have a great chance to reach the final and qualify for the final round of the championship.”
Sunil Chettri, the skipper of Bengaluru FC and current Indian captain, did not agree with the later part of Colaco’s analysis.
Speaking over the phone, from Bangalore on Wednesday, he said: “I have played quite a few times against this side. And they have such a formidable local footballers that even without the foreigners they are a strong side.”