Preview: I-League - Minerva Punjab take on Bengaluru FC

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Ludhiana, Mar 4: Buoyed by their strong show in recent matches, Minerva Punjab FC take on defending championships Bengaluru FC in a 12th round match of the I-League at the Guru Nanak Stadium here tomorrow, March 5.

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Minerva FC and Bengaluru FC shared the spoils in the first leg in Bengaluru after Sandesh Jinghan netted an own goal to gift Minerva the crucial away point.

Minerva Punjab coach and player (left) with Bengaluru manager Albert Roca Nishu Kumar (Image courtesy: I-League Twitter handle)

Minerva head coach Surinder Singh said that his team struggled in the initial stages of the league but came back strongly from the bottom of the table to the sixth position as they were unbeaten in their last six games.

"We have drawn against Bengaluru FC at their fortress and tomorrow's game is very important for us and all three points are very crucial for us," stated Surinder.

On Minerva's tough schedule as they are set to play three games in six days, Surinder said that he will not rest or save players but would look to fire on all cylinders against Bengaluru FC to upset the reigning champions.

Bengaluru coach Albert Rocca said that the pitch would not be suited for their style of play, but they would try to adapt to the conditions.

"Tomorrow is an important game for us and we are definitely going for a win," said Rocca.

About Bengaluru FC adding strength to their squad in Serbian Marjan Jugovic, Rocca stated, "In our recent games, we have had most of the possession, but we failed to score and we have missed our chances.

"Jugovic is here to help the team and we will make our changes to the squad such that it earns us points."

Asked where he would want to see his team at the end of the season, Rocca said right now they were not in a good position in the table and they will focus on the AFC Cup and also look to push the side up the I-League table towards their objective of retaining the title.

PTI

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