Chhetri’s penalty proves to be the difference as Bengaluru beat Chennaiyin for first win
Bengaluru FC picked up their first win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 1-0 victory against Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Friday. Sunil Chhetri scored the winner from the penalty spot in the second half.
- Anirudh Thapa went off early after suffering an injury.
- Sunil Chhetri scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 56th minute.
Chennaiyin suffered a massive setback early on after Anirudh Thapa had to leave the pitch just 16 minutes into the game due to injury. They did, however, register the first shot of the game on target in the 18th minute courtesy of a powerful effort from the edge of the box by Rafael Crivellaro that was saved by Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Bengaluru were seeing more of the ball but couldn’t convert their possession into chances until the 31st minute when Rahul Bheke ghosted into the box only to put a free header from a short corner tantalizingly wide of the target.
Juanan then registered Bengaluru’s first shot on target six minutes later after the Spaniard rose highest to head a ball, which had made its way into the box through a long throw-in that was flicked on. The remainder of the half saw both teams push hard to break the deadlock but neither side could create any clear-cut chances as the score remained goalless at halftime.
Chennaiyin registered the first shot of the second half on target in the 52nd minute when Deepak Tangri directed his header from a set-piece on goal. The Marina Machans then went behind four minutes later after substitute Edwin Vanspaul mistimed a tackle on Cleiton Silva in the box and conceded a penalty. Chhetri stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake from the spot to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
Dimas Delgado had a go from distance on the hour mark but Chennaiyin’s goalkeeper Vishal Kaith did well to make a stunning save. Ashique Kuruniyan also had an attempt on goal for Bengaluru a few minutes later, however, Kaith was equal to the task again.
Chennaiyin went on to respond with a powerful volley from a tight angle by Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev in the 64th minute, which Sandhu saved at his near post. Erik Paartalu unleashed a rasping drive from distance 10 minutes later, but the Australian’s attempt sailed over the crossbar.
Fatkhuloev had another opportunity to score from a similar angle after Lallianzuala Chhangte delivered a delightful cross from the left. However, the 30-year-old Tajikistani volleyed again with his side-foot only to find the side-netting.
Paartalu had a chance to put the game to bed three minutes from normal time when he found himself with space and time to shoot near the edge of Chennaiyin’s box. The Australian’s shot, though, was straight at Kaith, who made a comfortable save.
Chennaiyin did manage to test Sandhu in Bengaluru’s goal in stoppage time with a shot from Jakub Sylvestr. The Slovakian striker did well to force Sandhu into a save but the Marina Machans couldn’t make the most of the rebound as Bengaluru earned their first three points of the season.
Hero of the Match – Suresh Wangjam
Suresh Wangjam had a solid performance in the heart of midfield for Bengaluru. He had 52 touches of the ball and covered most areas of the pitch both in attack and defence. He finished the game with a passing accuracy of 74% and executed four successful tackles besides also making two blocks as well as one clearance.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – Bengaluru FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Erik Paartalu (Bengaluru FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: