Bengaluru go top of the table with win over Mumbai
Bengaluru FC got their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) journey up and running with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Mumbai City FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. Eduardo Garcia and captain Sunil Chhetri came up with two second-half strikes to cement maximum points.
The game began with a lot of physicality from both teams with tackles flying in from both sides. As the match progressed, Bengaluru started showing more flair and came close to opening their account thrice in the span of six minutes.
First, in the 23rd minute, Venezuelan striker Miku provided a delightful ball for Sunil Chhetri. The striker’s first-time volley grazed the post. Two minutes later, Chhetri could have been the provider, but after sliding the ball to Udanta Singh on the right, the latter’s shot went just wide. Lenny Rodrigues came close next three minutes later from a corner. He got on the end of a free header which flashed dangerously wide of the post.
The Blues kept seeing more of the ball and while there were a lot of moves that could have potentially ended up in goal, the final pass in the attacking-third seemed to let them down. Consequently, the sides went into the break with the score-line goalless.
The hosts’ first chance of the second period went to Miku in 47th minute but his volley from a difficult angle was off target. Right-back Rahul Bheke came up with Bengaluru’s next chance in the 61st minute when his effort from range stung Amrinder Singh’s hands.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 66th minute by Eduardo Garcia. A Bengaluru corner was played short for the Spanish midfielder to cut in from the right and unleash a powerful effort with his left foot to beat Mumbai City custodian Amrinder Singh at his near post.
The Blues missed a golden opportunity to double their lead in the 78th minute. Udanta sent Miku through on goal with a delightful ball, but Amrinder came up with a good save to deny him. The rebound, however, saw Udanta blast over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Bengaluru did net their second goal in the third minute of added time after miscommunication between Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Amrinder. A long ball from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu bounced awkwardly in front of Wadoo, whose header came off Amrinder and onto the path of Chhetri. Bengaluru’s captain took a touch before slotting the ball into an unguarded net. That was enough for the Blues to rise to the summit of the table with a 2-0 score-line.
Club Award: Bengaluru FC
Moment of the Match: Lucian Goian
Winning Pass of the Match: Udanta Singh
Emerging Player: Abinash Ruidas
Hero of the Match: Sunil Chhetri