Bengaluru beat NorthEast to climb to the top of the standings

Bengaluru FC returned to winning ways in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 after a 2-0 victory over NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday. Sunil Chhetri’s penalty broke the deadlock in the 68th minute and Albert Serran doubled their advantage with a header in the 81st minute. 

  • Udanta Singh missed a gilt-edged chance in the first half, finding the woodwork instead.
  • Sunil Chhetri gave Bengaluru the lead from the penalty spot.
  • Albert Serran doubled the Blues’ lead in the 81st minute.

The match began at a high tempo with both sides looking to make inroads in the opposition defence early on. The visitors started to see more of the ball as the half progressed without managing to make it count. Udanta Singh had a left-footed effort blocked by NorthEast’s defence and Erik Paartalu saw one of his efforts from range fly over the crossbar.

The hosts, on the other hand, seemed content to sit deep and use their pace on the counter, while also looking especially threatening from set-piece situations. Martin Chaves did well to get into a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper in the 25th minute. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu though stood firm in goal and denied Chaves the opener with a smart block.

Bengaluru, however, should have been in front in the 33rd minute when Ashique Kuruniyan provided a delightful cross from the left for Udanta inside the six-yard box. Even though Udanta had just an empty goal to nod into, the Indian winger rattled the crossbar with his header to the disbelief of his teammates and Bengaluru fans.

Rahul Bheke then managed to get a header from a corner on target before halftime but Subhasish Roy made a comfortable save for NorthEast as the teams went into the break goalless.

Chhetri had Bengaluru’s first effort on target in the second half when he headed a cross from the right into the goalkeeper’s hands around about the hour-mark. The Bengaluru captain, however, got his name on the scoresheet in the 68th minute when he stepped up to convert from the spot after the Blues had received a penalty for handball.

NorthEast tried to respond straight from the restart but Redeem Tlang’s shot from the edge of the box failed to test the goalkeeper. The Highlanders brought on Federico Gallego in search of an equaliser and the Uruguayan midfielder, who was returning from injury, made an impact as NorthEast began to look more threatening going forward. Panagiotis Triadis came close to levelling the score in the 78th minute but his shot drifted agonizingly wide of the goal.

The Blues though put the game to bed in the 81st-minute courtesy Serran, who got his head to a Paartalu cross from the left to make it 2-0 and all but secure the three points.

NorthEast to their credit continued to fight till the final whistle and registered a few attempts at goal through Triadis. Bengaluru, however, smartly killed the clock as the defending champions got over the line without much concern in the closing stages.

Hero of the Match – Juanan

Juanan put in another solid performance at the heart of Bengaluru’s defence as the Blues picked up yet another clean sheet. The Spanish centre-back made two blocks, three interceptions and 12 clearances, making him the Hero of the Match.


Club Award – Bengaluru FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Sunil Chhetri

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Erik Paartalu

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Lalengmawia

Hero of the Match – Juanan

Watch the match highlights here:

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