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Talisman: Sunil Chhetri, right, trains alongside Prabir Das ahead of the ISL semifinal second leg against Mumbai City FC.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A first Indian Super League final in four seasons beckons as Bengaluru FC — leading 1-0 from the first leg — takes on Mumbai City FC in the semifinal second leg at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.

Simon Grayson’s side is high on confidence, having notched up its 10th successive win at the Mumbai Football Arena on Tuesday. It has a defined way of playing — hit on the counter and exploit the space behind the opponent’s defence — a settled first XI and a trump card in Sunil Chhetri, who has come off the bench to produce match-winning efforts in the last two matches.

Raring to go: Suresh Wangjam, one of BFC’s standout players in the first leg, will look to continue his fine form.

Raring to go: Suresh Wangjam, one of BFC’s standout players in the first leg, will look to continue his fine form.
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

That BFC has beaten MCFC — the best team in the League by a distance and one that has scored 54 goals — in two of the three encounters in this campaign will not be lost on anyone. Still, even as it has one foot in the summit clash, dragging the other along will not be easy. A smarting MCFC is nobody’s dream combatant and BFC will also be playing its third game in 10 days.

“I had said that we wanted to be in the tie going into the second leg, which is what we’ve managed to do. But we haven’t achieved anything yet,” Grayson said, on the eve of the match. “Mumbai is a top team, so I expect a difficult game.”

MCFC coach Des Buckingham would want his forwardline to be more clinical. For all the dominance in the first leg, the attacking trio of Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Greg Stewart couldn’t find the back of the net.

“It was a one-off game, and my team will give a reaction,” Buckingham said. “The good thing is, apart from the set-piece, we had control of the game and created chances. I expect a very similar game, and the plan does not really change.”

#Bengaluru #primed #press #home #firstleg #advantage #Mumbai #City

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