Bengaluru FC end winless streak with victory over Chennaiyin FC in six-goal affair

Bengaluru FC snapped their seven-match winless streak with a 4-2 victory over Chennaiyin FC in an entertaining six-goal affair in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Thursday.

Mirlan Murzaev (4’) gave Chennaiyin FC a great start with an early goal but Bengaluru FC bounced back late in the first half with goals from Cleiton Silva (38’ (P)) and Alan Costa (43’). Chennaiyin FC restored parity early in the second half through Rahim Ali (49’) but quick-fire goals from Udanta Singh (70’) and Pratik Chaudhari (74’) swung the match in Bengaluru FC’s favour once and for all.

Bozidar Bandovic’s men started as favourites and almost immediately lived up to the billing when Murzaev who was played in on the flanks behind the Bengaluru FC defence drove inside the box, cut back in on his right foot and fired past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to put Chennaiyin FC in front.

The Super Machans had their tails up after the early goal and Bengaluru FC needed Sandhu to be alert in the 17th minute as he saved from Ali from close range to keep the score at 1-0.

The Blues brought on Udanta Singh in just the 26th minute to replace Ajith Kamaraj as head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli changed his approach.

The move seemed to work as Bengaluru FC began to keep more ball possession. They were eventually rewarded in the 37th minute when they were given a penalty for a handball by Jerry Lalrinzuala after Ashique Kuruniyan’s cross struck his arm.

Silva stepped up to convert from the spot and restore parity for the Blues.

Things got even better for Bengaluru FC when they got their noses in front when Costa headed home their second goal in the 43rd minute. Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Vishal kaith was at fault as he came off his line to collect the delivery from the corner but completely missed it allowing the centre-back to profit.

The Blues kept their 2-1 lead at the break despite not completely dominating that first half.

Chennaiyin FC hit back instantly in the second half as Murzaev supplied Ali with a cutback who found the back of the net with help from Sandhu who completely missed the shot despite it being hit straight at him.

Pezzaiuoli threw on Sunil Chhetri in the 64th minute in place of Prince Ibara and once again the substitution changed the course of the match. The captain’s presence spurred Bengaluru FC after being under the pump for the majority of the second half.

Six minutes later, the Blues regained the lead after Udanta who received the pass after being completely free on the right hand side of the box fired his shot into the bottom corner.

The Blues then doubled their advantage four minutes later when Kaith fluffed a simple catch from a corner to allow Bengaluru FC to recycle the ball and let Chaudhari score from close range.

The twin strikes deflated Chennaiyin FC who found themselves trailing in a game that they had chances to score.

But the Blues who were desperate to record a victory held on for three crucial points.

The win lifts Bengaluru FC into eighth spot in the league while Chennaiyin FC stay sixth.

The Blues are back in action on Tuesday when they face SC East Bengal while Chennaiyin FC take on Jamshedpur FC on Sunday.

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