Bengaluru FC bounced back to winning ways with a captivating 2-1 victory against Hyderabad FC on Sunil Chhetri’s 150 Indian Super League (ISL) appearance at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium to cap off the Saturday double header tonight.

The Blues (18) have moved to the eighth spot with this victory, just two short of the sixth-placed Jamshedpur FC, thus helping keep their playoffs qualification hopes alive.

For a large chunk of the game, it appeared that their bid for the same would take a jolt, but specially with the deadlock not being broken 70 minutes into the match. However, the final 20 minutes saw an intense back and forth battle that saw the struggling Hyderabad FC trail, equalise, and fall back in the proceedings again to return home with no points to their name.

It all started with Spanish midfield maestro Javi Hernandez talking the initiative to open the scoring. Having not conceded any goal for such a major chunk of the match, Hyderabad FC arguably sensed a reasonable chance to get their first win of the game under their belt. That backfired immediately, with Hernandez recovering possession near the halfway mark, distributing the ball to Oliver Drost on the left flank whilst the former steered ahead to get into the box. Drost played the perfect foil, delivering a slick delivery right on Hernandez’s path, who smashed the ball in the top left corner in one go! It was some impeccable display of finishing for the attacking midfielder, who has pulled off some spectacular efforts this season already.

However, Hyderabad FC found their calling soon here, with Makan Chothe showing valour in attempting a rather outrageous shot from outside of the box that took Gurpreet Singh Sandhu aback. The goalkeeper was unable to keep hold of the ball firmly, with it dropping out of his palms to land in Ramhlunchhunga’s path on the right flank. Ramhlunchhunga pounced upon the rebound, hammering the ball into the back of the net to bring curtains down to Hyderabad FC’s unfortunate streak of going five games without scoring a goal.

However, homegrown talent Sivasakthi Narayanan ensured that Bengaluru FC had the last laugh. On a night when his skipper Chhetri brought up his historic feat, Sivasakthi produced a winner in the 87th minute that brought Bengaluru to its feet and assured the supporters that their future is in the right hands. Possessing the ball on the left flank, Sivasakthi worked his way past his Hyderabad FC markers whilst Chhetri waited for the ball inside the box. The youngster decided otherwise though, launching a shot from outside of the box straight past Laxmikant Kattimani, bringing three points to the beloved fans of the Blues.

Key Performer of the Match

Sivasakthi Narayanan (Bengaluru FC)

The attacker came on as a substitute in the final phase of the game, but his efforts held massive impact in the final outcome of the match. He was industrious in assing the ball around, completing four out of his six passes, but it was his tremendous shot that titled the scales of the game in the favour of the home team.

What’s next for both teams?

Bengaluru FC will face Kerala Blasters FC on March 2 for their next match, whereas Hyderabad FC will clash with Punjab FC in February 27 for their coming encounter.

Brief Scores

Bengaluru FC 2 (Javi Hernandez 71’, Sivasakthi Narayanan 87’) - Hyderabad FC 1 (Ramhlunchhunga 80’)

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