Shillong [India], Apr.14 (ANI): Shillong Lajong FC will have it all to play for when they take on 5th-placed Bengaluru FC in Round-16 of I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
Having snatched a point from table-toppers Mohun Bagan in their last home encounter, Lajong would like to settle for nothing less than full three points against the Southern travellers who have had an indifferent season this year.
The Reds are surely eying a top three finish and their zeal to achieve the same makes Saturday's encounter a mouth-watering clash.
Bengaluru, on the other hand, come to the tie on the back of a hard-earned last minute win over Aizawl FC at home and would be desperate to brush up their reputation as a formidable I-League side.
Balancing the top league of Indian football along with the AFC Cup has proved to be a challenge for Albert Roca's men, who have been unable to match their performances from the previous three seasons of the I-League, in which they have won the title twice while finishing runners-up once.
Bengaluru's away form in the I-League has not been the best, with the Blues registering just one victory on the road in eight games (against newbies Minerva Punjab FC) along with four draws and three defeats. Saturday's contest will be the defending champions' final away match of the season and their last chance to improve on their grim statistics.
Ahead of the crucial tie Lajong coach Thangboi Singto said speaking on Thursday, Singto said, "Bengaluru have always been a good team and they have very experienced players. It will definitely be another challenging match for us. We need to continue the way we approached and played against Mohun Bagan, that is, to not be intimidated by them. We have to go for maximum points."(ANI)