Soundar said it would be a privilege to test themselves against one of the best teams in the country.
Chennai: Whoever said timing is intrinsic to comedy must have said that in jest or he was speaking only half-truth. For timing, is just as essential in order for unqualified success. To further buttress that argument, we need look no further than the case of the scheduling of the I-League match between hosts Chennai City FC and the defending champions Bengaluru FC, which will be played at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday. It is worth recalling that it comes exactly a week before the Ides of March, not too propitious a time for either of the struggling teams to seek a turnaround.
But the timing here pertains more to the vagaries of the visiting team’s sudden tailspin from their usually lofty standards of excellence. Had this fixture come on the heels of their second-place finish at the AFC Cup, one would expect a near full capacity crowd. Alas, we may have to resign ourselves to watching the match played in front of empty galleries.
It was a fallow February for Bengaluru who endured a five-match winless sequence before bringing closure to that jinx with a 1-0 win over Minerva Punjab.
In the customary pre-match media briefing, Bengaluru coach, Albert Roca, almost kissed goodbye to his team’s chances of retaining the trophy. “We are a little far from where we want to be. We don’t want to be pretentious. We want to raise our levels of performance with each passing match, said the 54-year-old Spaniard.
His counterpart, V. Soundarrajan, who has a habit of using his favourite catchphrase ‘we will go all out for a win’, showed no change in his trend. His critics might cast a derisive finger at him and say cynically that, “Talk is cheap!”
Soundar said it would be a privilege to test themselves against one of the best teams in the country and the one conspicuous change in his pre-match routine was that he refused to divulge the make-up of his eleven. It remains to be seen if this works as a lucky charm for him and his team, who are in dire need of a win.