Bengaluru score late to break down resolute Pune

Rahul Bheke’s late strike helped Bengaluru FC beat FC Pune City 2-1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. After keeping the score level at 1-1 in the first 45 minutes, the Stallions put in a resolute display at the back in the second-half to frustrate the Blues. But their resistance was finally broken on the 88th minute.

The three points helped Bengaluru extend their lead at the top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) table, with 22 points from 8 matches. Second-placed FC Goa have 17 points from their nine outings so far. Pune, meanwhile, stay in the ninth position with just five points from their ten matches.

  • Bengaluru’s Udanta Singh scored the opening goal on the 11th
  • Four minutes later, Rahul Bheke’s own goal restored parity.
  • Bheke scored on the 88th minute to hand Bengaluru the lead, and eventually the win.

Udanta Singh gave the home team a dream start, putting them into the lead with just 11 minutes on the clock. Sunil Chhetri and Harmanjot Khabra did some good work down both flanks before Udanta was set free down the right. The young winger cut inside the Pune box, dropped a shoulder, and let one rip. His shot was too powerful for Pune goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh and it was 1-0 to the home team.

Bengaluru could have doubled their lead almost immediately after Dimas Delgado's pass put Chencho Gyeltshen one-on-one with Kamaljit. The Bhutanese international tried to slot it inside the near post but the Pune custodian stuck out a leg to make a crucial save.

Bengaluru were piling on the pressure and looked the likeliest to score the second goal of the match. However, it was the away team who found the net against the flow of the game. Marko Stankovic's low cross ended up in the Bengaluru goal after an unfortunate touch from defender Rahul Bheke. Pune were back in the match, courtesy an own goal.

On the 21st minute of the match, Chencho found himself on the end of another golden opportunity. Xisco Hernandez found him with a wonderful chipped cross, but he couldn't keep his header down.

The home side got another big chance five minutes later, but Sunil Chhetri's shot from a tight angle was blocked out by the Pune custodian.

The final 20 minutes of the first-half saw Bengaluru in the ascendancy. The Blues could have restored their lead through Erik Paartalu. The Aussie's long ranger had Kamaljit beat, but the crossbar came to the Stallions' rescue. The two teams headed into the break level at 1-1.

Bengaluru started the second-half right from where they left off before the half-time whistle and created a flurry of half chances. However, the lack of finesse in and around the box let the visitors off the hook time and again.

Udanta was inches away from grabbing his second of the night on the 71st minute, but his venomous strike went out after rattling the post.

Pune worked hard defensively in the second-half to keep the Blues at bay, but the good work was finally undone on the 88th minute. Khabra managed to get on the end of a long pass by Nishu Kumar from the midfield. He did well to redirect the ball inside the Pune box and found an unmarked Rahul Bheke. The defender made no mistakes and made amends for his own goal in the first-half. His strike eventually turned out to be the winner.

HERO OF THE MATCH

Rahul Bheke was unlucky to score the own goal which handed Pune a way back into the match but redeemed himself extremely well and scored a late winner. The defender also put in a brilliant shift at the back to make sure Bengaluru dominated the match.

CLUB AWARDS 

Club Award – Bengaluru FC

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Udanta Singh

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Harmanjot Khabra

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Ashique Kuruniyan

Hero of the Match – Rahul Bheke

WHAT’S NEXT?

Bengaluru will travel to Guwahati to face NorthEast United FC on December 5, while Pune will be in action against Kerala Blasters FC on December 7.

Watch the match highlights here

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