Bengaluru FC pumped in two late goals against host NorthEast United FC to regain its winning rhythm, at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on Wednesday. This was a nice comeback for the defending champion, which seemed to have slipped a bit after suffering its first loss of the tournament in the previous match at home against Mumbai City FC.
Captain Sunil Chhetri opened the account midway through the second half through a penalty before Spanish defender Albert Serran moved up to find the insurance goal in the final quarter of the action. With the tournament about to reach the half-way stage, the win took the holder to the top of the current standings with 16 points from nine outings.
The game saw a nice contest in the midfield in the opening half with North East enjoying the dominance in the first quarter but as the action wore on Bengaluru started asserting itself with Ashique Kruniyan bringing in some nice assists from the left.
As it happened
Kuman Udanta Singh missed a golden chance to bring up the lead in the 32nd minute when Kuruniyan set him up with a nice lob that just had to be nodded home. With the North East goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury caught completely off position, Udanta connected his header to the crosspiece instead of finding the net. The NEUFC goalkeeper did a nice job in the 39th minute cutting off a Rahul Bheke header to keep the scoreline unchanged.
The host missed the services of injured Ghanaian World Cupper Asamoah Gyan and struggled to get its feet in the striking zone. Bengaluru FC enjoyed more space upfront after the change of ends and it was a matter of time that it found the break. This happened in the 67th minute when North East defender Reagan Singh was hauled up for handling the ball inside own box while trying to clear an Udanta Singh cross. Chhetri made no mistake from the spot. Bengaluru took the game beyond the reach of the host on an 81st minute counter-attack as Albert Serran nodded home a cross from Erik Partalu.
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