Bengaluru FC wins I-League title

Bengaluru FC beat Salgaocar 2-0 at the Sree Kanteerava stadium to win its second I-League title with one more game left to play.

Bengaluru FC celebrates after winning its second I-League title.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Bengaluru FC (BFC) gift-wrapped the I-League title and presented it to its fans with a 2-0 victory over Salgaocar FC here on Sunday. BFC was intent on winning the league at home, and a thorough performance on the field prevented any change to the intended script.

The three points gained here has relegated BFC's final I-League encounter, against second-placed Mohun Bagan at Siliguri, to the status of a dead-rubber.

>READ: Ashley Westwood likely to leave Bengaluru FC

An eighth minute goal from Eugeneson Lyngdoh calmed the nerves of the animated 11,500-odd crowd at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. A chip from English midfielder Michael Collins floated towards the rival custodian, Karanjit Singh. Karanjit punched the ball forward as striker Kim Song Yong advanced, only to see it land at Lyngdoh's feet outside the box. With the goalkeeper horribly out of position, the midfielder took his time to side-foot his shot into the back of the net.

From here, the match lost much of its fizz, apart from the rare BFC attempt on goal. The visitor, safe from relegation and stuck in fifth-spot, showed no real purpose. The Bengaluru unit was only too happy to ride the wave.

There was, however, some way to go before BFC could emerge as national champion. As the clock ran down, a counterattack led by Sunil Chhetri put the title-race to bed. An unmarked Chhetri darted on the right before laying it off to Len Doungel, who finished the easiest of chances.

At around the same time last year, Ashley Westwood and his men lost the crown in the dying minutes of its final fixture. This victory, recorded at the very same venue, helped BFC erase all those painful memories.

Score: Bengaluru FC 1 (Eugeneson Lyngdoh 8', Len Doungel 88') bt Salgaocar FC 0.

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