JSW Bengaluru FC finished their I-League campaign in fourth position after defeating Churchill Brothers 3-0 in their last match, in Bengaluru on Saturday.
The result ensured they ended their campaign on 30 points from 18 matchese. Churchill on the other hand finished with 20 points from 18 matches, their position in the table to be decided on Sunday.
Keeping an eye on the forthcoming Federation Cup which kicks-off on May 7, BFC Coach Albert Roca preferred to rest a number of his star players. Goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte was handed his first I-League game with the Blues fielding just one foreigner -- defender Juanan pairing up with Sandesh Jhingan in Central defence.
With the starting eleven boasting of five U-22 players, the hosts surged into the lead as early as the 5th minute – former AIFFAcademy product Gursimrat Singh swaying an inch- perfect cross from the right flank for another former AIFFAcademy product Daniel Lalhlimpuia to tap it in.
A minute before conceding the goal, Churchill, however, had bagged the first corner of the match which they failed to capitalize.
The visitors missed an easy chance to equalize few minutes later, when Anthony D’souza despite finding himself in an 1v1 with Goalkeeper Ralte failed to make the most of it.
Meanwhile some silky touches from the talented Udanta Singh puzzled Churchill defence. And it was the slippery Manipuri who doubled the lead in the 35th minute.
Grabbing a through pass, he cut in past the onrushing rival keeper Naveen Kumar, controlled it, and slotted it home as BFC headed to the interval with a two-goal cushion.
Changing over, Churchill brought in striker Kromah, in an effort to add more thrust in attack. Both Kromah and his captain Anton Wolfe raided Bengaluru with solo efforts but an alert Bengaluru defence wasn’t to be broken.
The final goal for the Blues came in the 84th minute – winger Mandar Rao Dessai curling it in off a pass from Salam Ranjan Singh.
Mandar was adjudged the Hero of the Match.
Image: Fans of Bengaluru FC give a special shout out to the team on Saturday
Photograph: Bengaluru FC/Twitter