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Fed Cup: Bengaluru FC take on Mohun Bagan in must-win fixture

IANS logoIANS 11-05-2017

With the DSK Shivajians FC and Shillong Lajong FC -- the other teams in Group B -- taking each other on in the first match of the day, Bengaluru will know exactly what they need to do against Mohun Bagan later in the evening.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, will aim to maintain their perfect record and enter the semi-finals as the top placed team in the group.

The Kolkata giants have won both the matches they have played so far. The defending champions are at the top of the group with the full quota of six points and have all but made the cut for the last four stage.

Bengaluru and DSK are second with three points each. If both teams manage to win on Friday, they will draw level with Mohun Bagan on points and the top two teams to qualify for the knock-outs will be decided on goal difference.

But Bengaluru coach Albert Roca has asked his side to turn a blind eye to all combinations of results and mathematics and instead focus on clinching the full three points against the Kolkata side.

"We find ourselves in a situation where our backs are against the wall and while our progress could be determined by the other result in the group, we need to train all our thoughts on getting the win against Bagan," Roca said on the eve of the game.

In what is a bit of a set-back for Bengaluru, the former I-League champions will be without midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh who sits out of the fixture with two bookings in as many games.

But Roca sounded confident of the quality his side possessed.

"We have enough ability on this team to find us results when we need them the most. Every player in every position will have to step up if we are to stay alive in the competition. We know we are up against a very strong team in Bagan and nothing short of our best will do," he said.

Having put up a dominant show for most parts of both group stage games, Bengaluru will have to be wary of the lapses in focus that saw them concede rather needless goals.

"We've seen what happens when we let our guard down for even a bit. We got away with it in the first game but were punished in the second.

"We are a side that loves to attack always and that can leave us a little vulnerable on the counter if we aren't focused enough. Let's hope we can fix this in a game where mistakes can end our tournament," Roca said.

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