A first-half strike by John Johnson helped Bengaluru FC beat United Sports Club by a solitary goal in their third round match of the I-League at the Bengaluru Football Stadium. The win propelled them to the top of the points table with seven points from three matches.
On the other hand, this was UnitedSC’s first loss in three matches.
It was in the fourth minute of the match when Man of the Match Johnson headed in a perfect corner by Beikhokhei Beingaichho to register his second goal in the ongoing Airtel I-League.
Apart from scoring the winner, Johnson stood like a wall in the Bengaluru defence. He did well to thwart the deadly duo of Ranti Martins and Eric Brown.
The hosts were the dominant side right from the kick-off forcing the visitors to rely more on counter attacks. The hosts could have doubled the lead in the 18th minute but Keegan Perreira failed to convert from close. Thereafter Sean Rooney’s header went straight to rival goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee. In between, UnitedSC had their chances too. In the 24th minute, Ranti failed to slot it past Bengaluru SC Goalkeeper Pawan Kumar and 13 minutes later, he shot it wide from inside the box.
Changing over, Bengaluru created two chances in the first two minutes itself. First, a Sunil Chhetri header sailed over and then, Rooney, all in the clear, just couldn’t direct his header into the net off a cross from Pereira.
United SC tried to regroup. They did enjoy possession but failed to penetrate the Bengaluru defence. In the 80th minute, Coach Eelco Schattorie was sent-off by the Referee.
Bengaluru FC will next face Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting at Home on October 10.
Salgaocar beat Mohammedan Sporting
Salgaocar FC kept their winning momentum going as they scored a convincing 3-0 win over Mohammedan Sporting to notch up their second win in the I-League at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa on Sunday.
Salgaocar, who led 1-0 at half time, scored through Darryl Duffy (43rd), Claude Gnakpa (48th) and Augustin Fernandes (63rd). The win takes Salgaocar's tally to six points from two matches. Durand Cup Champions, Mohammedan Sporting, who suffered their second defeat, are yet to open their account.
Salgaocar, who had a dream start beating defending champions Churchill Brothers, looked determined to keep the winning momentum going as they did most of the attacking and even earned seven corners in the first half.
However, they were not successful until the 43rd minute when Francis Fernandes did all the spadework and relayed the ball to Clifton Dias who released the ball to a better-placed Darryl Duffy who slotted the ball home to give Salgaocar a 1-0 lead at half time.
Mohammedan Sporting, who made one change from their last match loss against Pune FC by bringing in Penn Orji, had their share of exchanges in the first half with Josimar and Tolgay Ozbay causing problems to the rival defence, but Chika Wali was alert to ward off the dangers.
Sporting came close to scoring in the 28th minute when Josimar's release to Israil Gurung on the right saw the latter attempt to find the far post, but Salgoacar keeper Karanjit Singh pulled off fine save and blocked Penn from the rebound as well.
Soon after resumption, Sporting could have equalised when Israil Gurung's shot at the goal saw keeper Karanjit beaten but an alert Augustin Fernandes cleared the ball to safety in the 48th minute.
After this close shave, Salgaocar celebrated with a goal.
After a counter move on the right, Nicolau Colaco sent a long ball to Gnakpa and with the Mohammedan keeper beaten to the flight of the ball. Gnakpa was left alone and he shot home to give Salgaocar a firm grip over the match.
Defender Augustin Fernandes, who moved up, then completed the tally in the 63rd minute for Salgaocar by heading the ball into the net off a cross from Gilbert Oliveira from the right.
Darryl Duffy of Salgaocar was adjudged as the most valuable player of the match.
Image: Bengaluru FC's Sunil Chhetri dribbles past the rival defence