After going down fighting by a couple of goals to United SC in Kolkata, Rangdajied United FC travel to Bengaluru to take on newly-born Bengaluru FC, in search of its first I-League points on Sunday.
Newly-promoted Rangdajied United had given the more-fancied United side a run for its money in their first ever I-League outing, before eventually bowing down to a couple of brilliant finishes from Ranty Martins and Eric Brown in the opening round of league games.
With the Shillong-based side looking to register their first ever I-League points, the Bengaluru FC side will be anything but an easy proposition for Rangdajied. After almost beating Mohun Bagan in its own I-League debut, Bengaluru FC will be in upbeat mood ahead of its encounter with Santosh Kashyap’s men, and will be in search of the full three points.
Rangdajied custodian Surjay Paryar had an impressive game against United SC on Sunday, making a handful of saves to keep the Ranty Martins-led attack at bay. This Sunday, Pariyar will have to produce more of the same if Kashyap’s men are to take any points home from the Garden City.
At the back, Poibiang Pohshna, Munmun Timothy Lugun, Prateek Chowdhary and Lamine Tamba had started for the blues against United SC, and look set to start against Bengaluru too. Against an attack consisting of the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and former Lajong man Johnny Menyongar, the latter a shrewd attacking midfielder, these four will have a very important job this Sunday. Their performances could have a vital say in the final scoreline.
At the centre of the park, Santosh Kashyap had opted for Restom Khriam and Abocha Singh in Kolkata, with Bansharai Sun among the substitutes after the coach had decided to go with two strikers. With Bengaluru set to unleash Menyongar and co. against Rangdajied, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kashyap sacrifice one of his strikers and opt for Bansharai instead, in order to provide the Bengaluru medios with as little breathing space as possible.
On the other hand, captain Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Japanese import Yohei Iwasaki are set to start on the flanks. Lyngdoh was impressive against United SC, and will be one of the focal points of the Rangdajied attack at the venue, where the team lifted the 2nd division trophy earlier this year.
With English defender John Johnson marshaling the men of steel’s backline, it will be interesting to see if coach Santosh Kashyap’s starts both Edmar Figueira and Sandesh Gadkari up front, like in the United SC game, or just go ahead with one of them. Both these strikers, who were signed by the club during the summer, didn’t have the best of games against United SC, and would be looking to set things right against the JSW-owned side.
With both Rangdajied United and Bengaluru FC playing in their second ever top flight game, it will be the clash of the newbies this Sunday at the Bangalore Football Stadium. The Bengaluru side had received tremendous support for its game against Mohun Bagan, and will surely have good attendances this Sunday against the North Eastern outfit. Rangdajied United, themselves not quite stranger to playing in front of thousands of fans, will, however, hope to surprise a few and register their first three points in an I-League game.
The match kicks-off at 16.00 IST and will be broadcast LIVE on Ten Action.