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Pyongyang: DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC must overhaul a three-goal deficit against JSW Bengaluru in the second leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final at May Day Stadium on Wednesday after suffering a 3-0 first-leg defeat in India last month.
 


4.25 SC

Tournament debutants 4.25 SC were at least the equal of their opponents in the first leg until Sunil Chhetri’s penalty just after the half hour gave Bengaluru the lead.

The East Asia Zonal champions then struggled to deal with the conditions as torrential rain appeared to play in favour of the hosts and allowed them the chance to open up a commanding lead ahead of the return leg.

 

But the Pyongyang-based team have goals within them and the game in India was the first time they have failed to score in the competition.

Much will rest on the shoulders of the tournament’s nine-goal top scorer Kim Yu-song, while captain An Il-bom is the driving force behind the team.


JSW Bengaluru

After an inconsistent group stage, 2016 runners-up Bengaluru produced arguably their most convincing performance of the competition in the first-leg win over 4.25 SC.

Chhetri’s dinked penalty calmed any nerves at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, before second-half goals from the impressive Udanta Singh and Lenny Rodrigues ensured The Blues travelled to Pyongyang with a healthy lead.


India’s number one Gurpreet Singh made his Bengaluru debut in the first leg

The visitors have lost their last two AFC Cup games on the road, though, and will look to avoid conceding early, but know a goal in their favour would all but kill the tie.

As ever, Chhetri will be the man Bengaluru look to for inspiration, but the emergence of 21-year-old Singh is noteworthy while Spaniard Dimas Delgado, who boasts AFC Champions League experience, has the knowhow to help the Indian side through a potentially tricky encounter. 


Ones To Watch: First Leg Stats

4.25 SC vs JSW Bengaluru
Venue: May Day Stadium, Pyongyang
Kick-off: September 13, 17:00 UTC +8:30

Photos: Lagardère Sports