Bengaluru maintain perfect record to go top

Bengaluru FC strolled to a 3-0 victory over Shillong Lajong and as a result went top of the I-League standings with nine points from three games at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.

Bengaluru FC's Kim Song Yong (L) in action during the I-League match against Shilllong Lajong FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.   -  K MURALI KUMAR

Bengaluru FC strolled to a 3-0 victory over Shillong Lajong and as a result went top of the I-League standings with nine points from three games at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.

The striking duo of C.K. Vineeth and Kim Song Yong combined to great effect, accounting for all three goals, to ensure that Bengaluru’s home start was as unstuttering as their away one this season.

The home side had the best-possible start, with C.K. Vineeth scoring in the very first minute. Following a defensive error from Lajong, he collected the ball and placed a low shot into the right corner. Lajong could have hit back immediately but Bipin Singh, left unmarked and under practically no pressure, sent a cross over the bar from a very promising range.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri, slotting in on the left, didn’t have the greatest of games, but when on the attack, along with Vineeth and Kim, he often switched positions to keep the opposition defenders guessing. Midfielder Alwyn George made clear his intentions too with a powerful shot from 20 yards and a cheeky back-heel. But neither helped double the lead.

On 36 minutes though, Kim scored the second. He headed on a Curtis Osano long ball for Vineeth to square from the right. Alwyn shot the ball straight at the goalie but Kim bundled in the rebound. On the stroke of half-time, if a towering header by John Johnson had found the back of the net instead of crashing against the bar, it could have been game over for Lajong.

However, not much time passed before it was done and dusted. Fifteen minutes into the second period, a dummy by Vineeth let Kim through on goal and the North Korean easily guided it past goalie Vishal Kahit.

With eight minutes left, Kim could have had his hat-trick, a crowning moment on what was a wonderful evening. But he hit the post with a low drive from the right and then missed an easy header off a cross by left-back Lalchuanmawia.

“We could have taken more care towards the end,” felt Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood. “Could have scored one or two more. But three is good. First half was a bit edgy. Second half we looked a good side and in spells looked pretty expansive knocking the ball around.”

“Conceding the goal in the first minute never helps,” said Lajong coach Thangboi Singto. “It put us back throughout.”

Result: Bengaluru FC 3 (Vineeth 1, Kim 36, 60) bt Shillong Lajong 0.