Bengaluru overcome Goa to qualify for playoffs

Bengaluru FC registered a comprehensive 2-0 win over FC Goa at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18. Edu Garcia and Dimas Delgado scored on either side of the half to take the steam off the Gaurs fightback. With 33 points, the Blues not only went 8 points clear atop the table but also became the season’s first team to book a playoff berth.

The hosts made a positive start to the contest and had the first opportunity of the game through Sunil Chhetri, whose effort was directed straight at Goa’s goalkeeper Naveen Kumar. The Gaurs’ first chance of the contest came after Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu failed to collect a cross in the sixth minute. The ball fell well for Ferran Corominas, who headed it goalwards but Sandhu managed to push it behind for a corner.

Manvir Singh then tried to put an attempt into the top right corner but the goalkeeper was up to the task and made an excellent diving save. The Blues responded through Semboi Haokip, who opted to place the ball, but ended up seeing his shot being saved by Naveen.

The deadlock was eventually broken 10 minutes before half-time when Toni Dovale produced a delightful ball from the left for Garcia to head home thunderously into the back of the net and make it 1-0 for the hosts.

Bengaluru tried to double their lead before the break but Goa’s defence managed to thwart the advances made by the hosts to ensure that they went into the half-time interval with a 1-0 advantage.

Bengaluru had their first chance of the second period also through Chhetri, after the Blues’ skipper collected a pass from Nishu Kumar. Chhetri’s shot towards the top left corner look destined for goal but the goalkeeper parried it behind for a corner. Lenny Rodrigues then unleashed a venomous effort from range which the goalkeeper punched towards Dovale. The latter tried to volley in on the rebound but only managed to lob the ball to the goalkeeper.

John Johnson had a chance after getting on the end of a Dovale corner in the 71st minute. Johnson managed to get his header on target but the goalkeeper was positioned well to make the save.

Bengaluru, however, killed off the tie 11 minutes later thanks to a goal from Delgado. Dovale spotted the run made by Delgado and headed it towards him. Unmarked, Delgado kept his cool to find the back of the net to make it 2-0.

Goa could have pulled one back after Edu Bedia found Manuel Lanzarote with a smart pass. The goalkeeper though made a good save to deny Goa and ensured he kept a clean sheet, as Bengaluru collected maximum points to make the cut to the playoffs.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award: Bengaluru FC

Swift Moment of the Match: Dimas Delgado

DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Toni Dovale

Amul Fittest Player: Edu Garcia

Emerging Player: Nishu Kumar

Hero of the Match: Dimas Delgado

Watch the match highlights here:

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