Safiq Rahim
Former Malaysia international Safiq Rahim will be crucial to Johor's chances Reuters

Match: Bengaluru FC v Johor Darul Ta'zim

Date: 19 October, Wednesday

Time: 9:30pm SGT/7pm IST/2:30pm BST

Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru

Competition: 2016 AFC Cup

TV Coverage: In Singapore, the TV coverage of the clash between Bengaluru FC and Johor Darul Ta'zim will be on Fox Sports.

Live Streaming: Hotstar


Bengaluru FC host Johor Darul Ta'zim in the 2016 AFC Cup semi-final second leg at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on 19 October.

The Blues have the edge over the Malaysian giants as they head into the home leg with an away goal advantage. Johor, who dominated the possession at the Larkin Stadium in the first leg, played out a 1-1 draw with the I-League champions.

Despite taking the lead in the second-half with a strike from Pereyra Diaz, the defending AFC Cup champions conceded their advantage in the next four minutes as Bengaluru midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh struck an equaliser. The hosts then struggled to get past the visitors' backline and find the decisive goal.

For Wedneday's clash, Johor are without their key strikers Juan Lucero, Pereyra Diaz and Amri Yahyah due to the suspension they have picked up for the second leg. Coach Basim Qasim rued missing the two Argentine strikers saying he would have a "headache" finding replacements for them.

Notably, Lucero and Pereyra have forged a successful combination with skipper Safiq Rahim upfront en route to the last four stages, in which they have not lost a single match. The three Southern Tigers stars are among the top five scorers of the ongoing tournament.

However, Johor will take confidence from the fact that their previous visit to Bengaluru in March was a successful one as skipper Rahim scored the only goal of the Group H game. The Malaysian club defeated the I-League side during the latter's visit to the Larkin Stadium as well.

On the other hand, Bengaluru FC are on the verge of creating history as the Blues are in line to become the first Indian side to reach the final of the AFC Cup. Despite conceding 16 goals in the group stages and the Round of 16, they have tightened up at the back since the quarter-final allowing only one in their last three matches.

Former Barcelona assistant coach Albert Roca would want the John Johnson-led defence to be on top of their game to keep Johor at check on Wednesday. The 53-year-old said that the away goal was no way an advantage against Johor but said his side would put in their best to give themselves a chance to progress.

"The team realises that the job is just half done. We do have an away goal but that, in no way, is a big advantage," Roca was quoted as saying by IBTimes UK.

"This is football and you can never take things for granted. But what I do know is that we will be giving nothing short of 100%."

Meanwhile, skipper Sunil Chhetri reportedly said he considers Wednesday's tie as "the biggest game of his club career". Kanteerava Stadium is expected to be filled with a sea of Blue, especially after the quarter-final clash against S.League giants Tampines Rovers was forced to be held behind closed doors.

Chhetri also ruled out any advantage due to the absence of Lucero and Pereyra for Johor but maintained that his side was not even thinking about losing their all-important tie.

Bengaluru will bank on the likes of Lyngdoh, in-form striker CK Vineeth to deliver the goods. The combination of Antonio Gonzalez and Johnson at the back will also be crucial against Johor, who will press to gain the upper hand at the earliest on Wednesday.

TV Schedule

Singapore: Fox Sports Singapore

Malaysia: Fox Sports Malaysia

India: Star Sports 1

Indonesia: Fox Sports Indonesia

Thailand: Bugaboo TV

Myanmar: Bugaboo TV

China: Star Sports 2 China

Bhutan: Star Sports 1

Bangladesh: Star Sports 1

Team News

Bengaluru FC

Possible XI: Arminder Singh; Rino Anto, Juanan, John Johnson, Nishu Kumar; Allwyn George, Cameron Watson, Alvaro Rubio, Eugeneson Lyngdoh; CK Vineeth, Sunil Chhetri

Johor Darul Ta'zim

Possible XI: Mohd Izham Tarmizi; Mohd Aidil Zafuan, Marcos António, Muhammad Fazly, Hariss Harun; Safiq Rahim, Kunanlan, Mohd Azamuddin, Amirul Hadi Zainal; Mohd Azinee, Safee Sali