Chhetri’s brace inspires Bengaluru to victory over Goa

Bengaluru FC moved to within two points of FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 standings after a 2-1 win over the Gaurs at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday. Sunil Chhetri found the back of the net on either side of a Hugo Boumous equaliser for Goa in the second half.   

  • Both teams had chances but couldn’t break the deadlock in the first half.
  • Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring for Bengaluru just before the hour mark.
  • Hugo Boumous equalised for Goa shortly after.
  • Sunil Chhetri scored his second of the night six minutes from normal time.

The visitors dominated possession in the opening exchanges and were on the front foot straight from kick-off. Having said that, the first real shot of any conviction went the home side’s way after Rahul Bheke did brilliantly to control a searching ball on the right and cut onto his left foot to force Goa’s Mohammad Nawaz into making a save in the 11th minute.

The Gaurs had a chance of going ahead 11 minutes later when quick footwork by Ferran Corominas saw him dance past Bengaluru’s defence in the box. The Spaniard, though, couldn’t quite get his shot away as the Blues’ defence managed to do just about enough to help thwart the danger.

Goa had another good opportunity just before the half-hour mark when Jackichand Singh was played in on goal. Once again, Bengaluru’s defence averted the danger quickly with a last-ditch tackle that made it difficult for Jackichand to get a clean shot away.

Chances started coming more frequently as the half progressed and Nishu Kumar was the next player to try his luck on goal. His shot from range was met with the strong hands of Nawaz.

Nawaz’s save led to a counter-attack by Goa that culminated in Boumous’ shot being safely collected by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The last opportunity of the half also went to Goa when Lenny Rodrigues found himself in a one-on-one situation with Gurpreet, who was quick off his line and got to the ball first to ensure that the teams went into the halftime interval level-pegging.

Both sides began the second period with a high tempo but couldn’t create too many clear-cut chances from open play. Bengaluru looked a bit sharper after halftime and took the lead in the 59th minute courtesy Chhetri, who found himself unmarked in the box to head home the opener from a corner and make it 1-0 for the hosts.

However, Goa responded in style by levelling the score just two minutes later. Corominas turned provider with a brilliant first-time pass into the penalty area for Boumous, who sorted his feet out quickly before guiding the ball past the goalkeeper into the far corner.

Jackichand then tried to put the Gaurs ahead in the 72nd minute with an attempt from inside the box that failed to test the goalkeeper. His miss proved to be costly as Chhetri went on to score the winner for Bengaluru in the 84th minute. Chherti had acres of space to run into on the counter after a crucial pass by Ashique Kuruniyan set him on his way to a delightful finish past Nawaz into the bottom corner.

Goa fought till the final whistle and put pressure on Bengaluru in the closing stages. Substitute Edu Bedia forced Gurpreet into two late saves from distance but that was as close as Goa came to scoring another equaliser as Bengaluru went on to pick up their first three points of the new year.

Hero of the Match – Sunil Chhetri

Chhetri produced another vintage performance for Bengaluru by bagging two goals to help the Blues beat Goa. His first goal – a header – was his eighth headed goal in the league, more than any other player in Hero ISL history.


Club Award – Bengaluru FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Hugo Boumous

DHL Winning Pass of the Match Ashique Kuruniyan

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Nishu Kumar

Hero of the Match – Sunil Chhetri

Watch the match highlights here:

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