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Bengaluru and Chennaiyin FC lock horns for final glory

Bengaluru and Chennaiyin FC lock horns for final glory

"We have the utmost respect for them for what they have done this season, but we don't fear anybody", Gregory quipped.

Jeje also hopes history repeats itself after he lifted the I-League with Mohun Bagan at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium back in 2014-15.

"I am very glad about the effort that the players put in".

"I still clearly remember winning the I-League here on the last day of the season. Tomorrow (Saturday), I hope it does not happen", he assured.

Chennaiyin's top-scorer Jeje Lalpekhlua, who has romped home nine goals so far, is eager to win silverware in Bengaluru again, having previously lifted it with Bengal giant Mohun Bagan in 2015. "But it was only a matter of time before he scored and unfortunately for Goa, he got a couple of opportunities and he scored", the Chennaiyin coach said. He works tirelessly for the team and he never goes missing in games. I'm happy for the city that we could give them an appearance in the final. They have not made many changes to the back-line and they will most likely go with Henrique Sereno and Mailson Alves in central defence along with Jerry Lalrinzuala (left-back) and Inigo Martinez (right-back).




The 3-0 hammering of FC Goa in the second leg will offer renewed belief that BFC's pair of Sunil Chhetri and Miku (27 goals between them) can be stopped in a similar manner to when they halted another prolific pair - Gaurs' Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote. He's been a major player for BFC along with Miku. "We started (our preparations) earlier than other teams because of the AFC Cup".

It may be a goalkeeper who has been solid throughout the season making a rare error, a referee getting a decision wrong, an in-form striker succumbing to big game nerves while taking a penalty, a midfielder holding the top spot in the tournament for most succesfull passes making a rare misplaced pass that allowed the opposition to break free and score; the list of potential stinkers is enormous. If you can keep those two quiet, you have a chance to win.

Just as both the first legs of the semi-finals were cagey affairs, the Englishman expects a rugged battle with the finest of margins deciding a victor.

One of two teams to have beaten Bengaluru FC at home, Gregory said that victory gave his side a morale boost ahead of the marquee clash.

Despite only playing four seasons in the I-League, the club were considered one of the model clubs of Indian football. Gregory said Jeje has the mental makeup to face odds if given full support. "The game could well be decided by a set piece", Gregory signed off.


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