Bengaluru stage splendid comeback to sink ATK

Bengaluru FC registered their third victory of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 after beating ATK 2-1 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday.

  • Komal Thatal scored his first Hero ISL goal with a smart finish in the 15th minute.
  • Miku levelled things for Bengaluru with a stunning free-kick in the 45th minute.
  • Erik Paartalu bagged his first goal of the season with a thunderous half-volley in the 47th minute.

The match started on an even note with the majority of the action taking place in midfield. However, the hosts took the lead in the 15th minute through youngster Thatal. The winger was released on goal by a pinpoint through ball from Everton Santos. The 18-year-old’s first touch was poor, taking him away from goal. However, his finish made up for it, completely wrong-footing Gurpreet Singh Sandhu before creeping into the bottom corner.

The Blues did not let the goal affect their play though and almost levelled things a few minutes later. A sweeping cross from Nishu Kumar down the left wing fell perfectly to the head of Miku. The forward got a powerful connection with the ball, but his header was directed straight at the goalkeeper.

The hosts were then dealt a huge blow near the end of the half when striker Kalu Uche had to be stretchered off due to an injury he picked up on the pitch. Things went from bad to worse for ATK as Bengaluru equalised right on the cusp of half-time. Miku, who had been threatening the whole half, struck a sensational free-kick which flew into the top corner to restore parity before the half-time whistle.

Bengaluru began the second period in the same way they finished the first and took the lead after just two minutes. A loose ball in the penalty box fell to Paartalu, who timed his half-volley to perfection, beating Arindam Bhattacharja in goal with ease.

The pace of the match then dropped down a notch as Bengaluru tried to protect their lead. Santos was awarded a decent opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet for ATK near the 70th minute mark. The Brazilian struck a fierce shot from just outside the six-yard box, but Gurpreet was on hand to save comfortably.

As the game reached its final quarter, ATK almost found the equaliser when Gerson Vieira got on the end of a corner from Manuel Lanzarote. The centre-back’s header hit the outside of the post before going out for a goal-kick.

Bengaluru did have a chance to kill the match in stoppage time when substitute Xisco Hernandez struck the near post with a drilled shot. However, in the end that would prove to be of little significance as the Blues held on till the final whistle to take all three points.

HERO OF THE MATCH – ERIK PAARTALU

The big Australian was an ever-present in midfield, aiding his defenders with crucial blocks and contributing to the team’s forward play. He showed incredible technique to rifle home the winner for Bengaluru and was deservedly awarded the Hero of the Match.

CLUB AWARDS

Club Award – Bengaluru FC 

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Miku

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Nishu Kumar 

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Komal Thatal

Hero of the Match – Erik Paartalu 

WHAT’S NEXT?

The Blues next travel to Kerala to face David James’ side on November 5, while ATK will hope to bounce back with a victory when they take on FC Pune City on November 10.

Visit our videos section to view the match highlights and the photos section for exclusive images from the match.

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