I-League: Sunil Chhetri scores as BFC cruises to victory

Captain Sunil Chhetri was on target for Bengaluru FC as it strolled to a 4-1 victory over DSK Shivajians FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday, to remain on top of the I-League table.

Bengaluru Football Club's Kim Song Yong scoring a goal against DSK Shivajians   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Bengaluru FC strolled to a 4-1 victory over DSK Shivajians FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday, to remain on top of the I-League table.

Coach Ashley Westwood wanted a response from his side after the shock loss to Sporting Clube de Goa, and he got one with interest. Sunil Chhetri put BFC ahead with a stunning free-kick before Kim Song Yong, Shankar Sampingiraj, and Seiminlen Doungel all found the net.

There definitely was life in the contest when the second half began, with BFC holding a slender 2-1 lead. Thereafter, however, it was all one-way traffic. Eight minutes after the interval, Rino Anto, who was excellent on the night, produced a cross from the right that Beingaichho headed on target. Subrata Paul palmed the ball away, but Sampingiraj was on hand to bury the rebound. As the visitor pushed forward, BFC broke at speed, firmly putting the game to bed nine minutes from time, when the young Doungel scored his first goal for BFC.

Earlier, the teams had still seemed to be sizing each other up when Chhetri produced a moment of brilliance to spark the game to life. A free-kick was awarded to BFC in the 14th minute when its North Korean striker Kim was brought down just outside the area, slightly right of centre. Chhetri stood over the ball, and from a run-up that was no more than two paces, he delightfully curled it into the net past Paul's right hand.

Beingaichho was a lively presence on the right flank for BFC, combining superbly all evening with the right-back Anto. The pair set up the second goal in the 33rd minute — Anto's delightful cross from the right nodded in by Kim.

The home team appeared to be cruising when DSK pulled one back. Douhou Pierre was always going to be a threat to BFC and he was in the thick of things again. On the brink of half-time, the Ivorian created space on the right and squared the ball for Sampathkumar Kuttymani, once of BFC, to flick the ball in. That, however, was as good as it would get for the visitor. BFC will now meet Mohun Bagan here on Saturday.

The result: Bengaluru FC 4 (Sunil Chhetri 14, Kim Song Yong 33, Shankar Sampingiraj 53, Seiminlen Doungel 81) bt DSK Shivajians 1 (Sampathkumar Kuttymani 45+1).

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