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A crucial encounter

Royal Wahingdoh’s dream run makes a crucial pitstop at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium where it takes on Bengaluru FC (BFC) in an I-league fixture here on Friday.

Wahingdoh’s maiden season in the I-League could not have gone any better. The side is in third-place — tied on points with BFC, but behind on head-on-head and goal-difference — and is coming off hugely impressive wins over Pune FC and East Bengal.

“Those two matches, against powerful clubs, were mind-blowing! If the players do exactly what the coach says, what more can you ask for,” said coach Santosh Kashyap here on Thursday. “I think our Federation Cup campaign was very important. Our players were given exposure to top-level football just before the I-League began. This gave them tremendous confidence. We have a very talented squad; they adapt to situations very well. We’ve played brilliant football,” Kashyap said.

BFC, of course, is regarded a perennial heavyweight threat. Three fine shows — two scrappy 1-0 wins against Warriors FC in the AFC Cup and Salgaocar, followed by a 4-1 rout of Sporting Clube de Goa — point to a team easing into top-gear.

Three points for either of these form sides will be invaluable as they focus all energies on the I-League crown.


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