Back from COVID, Sunil Chhetri to lead Bengaluru FC in AFC Cup

Sunil Chhetri had missed international friendlies against Oman and UAE recently. The AFC Cup will be Marco Pezzaiuoli’s first match as BFC head coach.

By Naveen Peter ·

Back from a COVID-19 bout, Sunil Chhetri will lead India’s Bengaluru FC in the 2021 AFC Cup which begins with the preliminary stage two match against Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army FC on April 14 at the GMC Stadium in Goa.

The Indian football great announced last month that he was infected by the novel coronavirus and as a result missed the Indian football team’s friendly matches against Oman and UAE.

But back on the pitch after a full recovery, Sunil Chhetri will be eager to give his best in a competition where Bengaluru FC made the final in 2016.

The AFC Cup will also see Bengaluru FC’s new head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli lead the team in his first assignment. The Italian has named a 29-member strong squad for the upcoming match.

Gabonese defender Yrondu Musavu-King is the latest overseas addition to Bengaluru FC. He will be joined by Juan Gonzalez (Spain), Cleiton Silva (Brazil) and Erik Paartalu (Australia) in the squad for the AFC Cup qualifier.

The new head coach has also called up a handful of players from the club’s reserve side. They are goalkeeper

Sharon Padattil, midfielders Damaitphang Lyngdoh and Muhammad Inayath, and strikers Akashdeep Singh and Sivasakthi Narayanan.

Sivasakthi Narayanan was the highest goal scorer in a local Bengaluru football league that concluded last month.

Bengaluru FC squad for 2021 AFC Cup

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon Padattil

Defenders: Rahul Bheke, Pratik Chaudhari, Juan Gonzalez, Wungngayam Muirang, Ajith Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Joe Zoherliana, Parag Shrivas, Yrondu Musavu-King, Biswa Darjee

Midfielders: Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Harmanjot Khabra, Namgyal Bhutia, Emanuel Lalchhanchuaha, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Muhammad Inayath

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Edmund Lalrindika, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva, Leon Augustine, Naorem Roshan Singh, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Akashdeep Singh