ISL: Bengaluru downs ATK to remain on top

Bengaluru FC found the lead through an own-goal from ATK defender Jordi Figueras before Miku found the insurance goal late in the second half.

Miku celebrates after scoring Bengaluru FC’s second goal.   -  PTI

Bengaluru FC consolidated its position at the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) standings, downing the host and defending champion ATK 2-0 here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

Bengaluru found the lead through an own-goal from ATK defender Jordi Figueras before Miku found the insurance goal late in the second half. The visitor was reduced to 10 men when its defender Rahul Bheke was given marching orders midway through the second half.

Match Centre

Bengaluru FC was gifted an early lead by ATK as Figueras paid the price of being a bit too casual. The Spaniard in the ATK central defence ended up sending the ball in his own net as he tried to clear a square pass from the Bengaluru winger Kuman Udanta Singh. The ball swerved beautifully into the ATK goal, beating goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar, who made a desperate dive sensing the mistake Figueras made while the latter tried to put the ball out of play.

No respite

After conceding the suicidal goal in the third minute, ATK tried to come back into the game but struggled in its bid as the visitor kept the ball in its control for a greater part of the exchanges. The host had its real chance of equalising in the 33rd minute when Bipin Singh set a probing cross for his upfront colleague Martin Paterson. Before the latter could reach the ball, it was headed back by the Bengaluru defender Juan Fernandez just to find Jayesh Rane. The ATK winger tried an angular header but the ball came off hitting the far upright and subsequently the back of the Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu. Before Rane could avail the rebound Rahul Bheke cleared it for a corner.

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As the host tried desperately to find the equaliser, Bengaluru FC was reduced to 10 men in the 69th minute when Bheke collected his second booking within six minutes to be marched off. Despite being reduced in numbers, the visitor made a few good counter-attacks as the host went all out in attack. Venezuelan striker Miku’s 72nd minute attempt was saved from the line by ATK defender Ashutosh Singh before the former availed the second opportunity in the 83rd minute to double Bengaluru’s lead.

The win took Bengaluru to 27 points from 13 matches, which was four points clear of second-placed Chennaiyin FC. The team plays Chennaiyin next Tuesday.

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