Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 finalists Bengaluru FC will meet I-League runners-up NEROCA FC in the quarter-final of the 2018 Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on Sunday.
|Game||Bengaluru FC v NEROCA FC|
|Date||Friday, April 13|
|Time||4:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the Super Cup. The games will be telecast with the option of English and/or Hindi commentary over their bouquet of television as well as digital platforms.
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
|Star Sports 2/2 HD||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Key Players: Miku, Sunil Chhetri.
Key Players: Felix Chidi, Subash Singh, Varney Kallon.
NEROCA were down and out at half-time against Kerala Blasters in the Round-of-16 of the Super Cup. A strong restart to the second half by the ISL side who had accumulated a 2-0 lead seemed to water down the force of an early fight back by the I-League side. But the game turned on its head after 70 minutes and NEROCA pulled off a magnificent 2-3 win to knock the Yellow Army out of the tournament.
Bengaluru also found it difficult to get past Gokulam Kerala as the Malabarians put up a brave fight until the final few minutes when Udanta notched a late winner to help his team book their berth in the quarter-final.
With the signing of former Chennai City forward Jean Micheal Joachim, Gift Raikhan now has the freedom to add a different dimension to NEROCA's attack. Felix Chidi has done really for the newly promoted I-League team and with Joachim playing beside him, any defence will find it tricky to contain the duo.
Against Blasters, winger Ningthoujam Pritam turned out to be the super-substitute but NEROCA usually strive on teamwork and hard work. While Raikhan's camp will be in high spirits, their poor start to matches is cause for concern.
Against Bengaluru, such a poor start will let in more goals and the lead could soon turn out to be insurmountable by the start of the second half. The front trio including Sunil Chhetri, Miku and Udanta can cause havoc against a lackadaisical backline.
ISL teams have struggled against I-League teams in the Super Cup but Bengaluru are one of the few teams who can pose a real threat to a rapidly improving team like NEROCA FC. A key area of the contest will be in midfield where Erik Paartalu and Lenny Rodrigues will be battling for control against Aryn Williams and Fabien Vorbe. Can NEROCA pull off yet another spectacle?