Bengaluru FC ends I-League campaign on a high

Defeats Churchill Brothers 3-0 to close the season with its fourth successive victory.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia celebrates after scoring one of three goals scored on Saturday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Bengaluru FC ensured that its inability to compete for the I-League title this year wouldn't leave a bitter after-taste as it closed the season with its fourth successive victory. Goals from Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Udanta Singh and Mandar Rao Dessai brought BFC a 3-0 victory over Churchill Brothers at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Saturday.

On the day, skipper Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, John Johnson, Cameron Watson were all rested. But cohesion BFC certainly didn't lack. The returning Udanta looked sharp, repeatedly dribbling past defenders on the right flank. It was no coincidence that the first goal came from that wing.

In the fifth minute, Gursimrat Singh Gill, making his first start of the season, swung in a fine cross which was turned in by Daniel. Churchill could have immediately equalised but it didn't make BFC goalie Lalthuammawia Ralte pay when he spilled a corner.

Udanta then doubled the lead in the 36th minute when he collected a perfect overhead ball, cut past the 'keeper, cut back in from near the byline and slotted home from an acute angle. Lenny Rodrigues and Alwyn George could have put the game to bed much earlier, but only succeeded in shooting straight at the goalie.

At the stroke of half-time, Churchill had its best chance following a miscommunication between centre-backs Sandesh Jinghan and Juanan. But defender Adil Ahmed Khan skied a shot from six yards out. Jhingan and Juanan exchanged a few words and had to be separated by Ralte.

For a good while, that was perhaps the closest the match got to being interesting. There was local boy Shankar Sampangiraj's first appearance in over a year for BFC and little else, until Mandar Rao Dessai started and finished an attack with a fine left-footed curler from outside the penalty area.

The result: Bengaluru FC 3 (Daniel Lalhlimpuia 5, Udanta Singh 36, Mandar Rao Dessai 84) bt Churchill Brothers 0.

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