Sporting Clube de Goa arrived in Bengaluru hoping for a point, but it left the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with all three. Despite having had to play with only ten men for more than an hour, the visitor secured a remarkable, unexpected 2-1 victory over Bengaluru FC on Saturday.
Odafa Okolie scored twice, his speed and vigour perhaps diminished now, but his eye for goal still excellent. BFC remains on top of the I-League table, but its lead is now cut to one point.
“I put it down to collective weakness,” the BFC head coach Ashley Westwood fumed afterwards. “We have weak characters right through the club. We're a weak club, simple as that. We're soft, we don't appeal for things and we lack leaders. We didn't manage the game or the referee. We didn't speak. Sporting had the know-how to manage the game which we lacked.”
Okolie put Sporting ahead in the ninth minute, scoring from the edge of the area after the BFC centre-half John Johnson had conceded possession. The away side, perhaps to its own surprise, had found things comfortable. The contest turned, however, on the dismissal of Dharmaraj Ravanan in the 22nd minute. The Sporting defender, who had already been booked nine minutes before, was shown a second yellow card after he was deemed to have elbowed Alwyn George in the face.
Emboldened, BFC pushed forward, but Sporting remained defiant. It was not until almost 20 minutes into the second half that the home side scored. George played Vineeth through on the inside-left channel, and the latter found the net via a deflection. BFC pushed forward in search of a winner, which left it in danger of being hit on the counter-attack. In the 73rd minute, Okolie struck again, sinking an accurate shot into the net from just outside the area. A weary BFC huffed and puffed, but to no end.
Result: Bengaluru FC 1 (C.K. Vineeth 64) lost to Sporting Clube de Goa 2 (Odafa Okolie 9, 73).
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