Defending champions Bengaluru FC registered their first victory in this season’s Hero Indian Super League, thrashing Chennaiyin FC 3-0, in Bengaluru, on Sunday.
Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu opened the scoring for Bengaluru in the 14th minute while captain Sunil Chhetri made it 2-0 with a sensational strike in the 25th. Thongkhosiem Haokip put the issue beyond doubt in the 84th minute.
The victory took Bengaluru to fifth in the ISL table while Chennaiyin, who are yet to score a goal after four games, are at the bottom.
Bengaluru FC asserted their dominance right from the start, creating several chances in the opening 10 minutes.
Chennaiyin custodian Vishal Kaith was called into action early in the fifth minute when former Chennaiyin man Raphael Augusto did brilliantly to get to the touchline and find Juanan with a cutback. The Spaniard's first-timed shot was blocked by Kaith with his feet.
Augusto continued to torment his former team and should have scored five minutes later from a Udanta Singh's cross, but messed up the chance.
Kaith then had to pull off another save to prevent Udanta from scoring after being sent through on goal by Chhetri.
Bengaluru's dominance paid off in the 14th minute when Erik Paartalu, returning from injury, rose highest inside the box to head home a corner from Dimas Delgado.
Even after taking the lead, Bengaluru continued to maintain control of the game as Chennaiyin struggled to cope.
Not surprisingly, the second goal came in the 25th minute. It was once again Augusto who proved a thorn in Chennaiyin's side. His excellent lofted ball from inside his half found Chhetri in space down the right. The star forward beat his marker and unleashed a rasping drive from the edge of the box to beat Kaith all ends up.
The defending champions continued to assert their supremacy, displaying swagger and confidence as Chennaiyin looked out of sorts.
After the break, Chennaiyin displayed a bit of urgency and John Gregory sent in Lallianzuala Chhangte for Rahim Ali. However, apart from a header from Dhanpal Ganesh which went wide, Chennaiyin could not trouble their rivals much.
Bengaluru continued to cruise through the game, giving their opponents no chance to stage a comeback.
In the 83rd minute, Chennaiyin almost pulled a goal back when Dhanpal Ganesh tried to flick in a corner from Dragos Firtulescu, but his effort bounced back off the post.
Bengaluru, however, punished Chennaiyin almost immediately. A long ball from Paartalu found Haokip who held off Eli Sabia and scored past Kaith to complete a resounding win.