ISL: Bengaluru seals top spot making short work of Jamshedpur

Venezuelan striker Miku and captain Sunil Chhetri found the target once each to secure the 12 wins for Bengaluru, which took its tally to 37 points from 17 matches.

Bengaluru FC Sunil Chhetri

Bengaluru FC players celebrate Sunil Chhetri's goal against Jamshedpur FC.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

 

Bengaluru FC sealed its position on top of the standings downing host Jamshedpur FC by two first half goals in an Indian Super League fixture here at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday.

MATCH CENTRE

Venezuelan striker Miku and captain Sunil Chhetri found the target once each to secure the 12 wins for Bengaluru, which took its tally to 37 points from 17 matches. The loss made Jamshedpur’s position in the fourth spot uncertain as the team tallied 26 points from 17 matches with FC Goa and Kerala Blasters breathing on its back.

Despite having sealed its position in the play-offs Bengaluru played with more purpose and emerged the deserving winner. The visitor sought to offset the defensive orientation of Jamshedpur using the speed and skills of Miku, who created space by making some fine run-ins form behind the host defence.

Bengaluru exposed the chinks in the host’s deep defence in the ninth minute when Antonio Dovale found Miku with a long through-pass. The Venezuelan striker chugged up the right flank before setting up a cross in the Jamshedpur goalmouth that just missed the reach of an onrushing Chhetri.

Miku was at it again in the 13th minute but he could not keep his header on target after Kumam Udanta Singh found him unmarked inside the Jamshepur FC box. Bengaluru was rewarded for its persistence as it earned a penalty in the 21st minute when the Jamshedpur goalkeeper Subrata Paul brought down Miku, as the latter broke free inside the box. Miku found the net from the spot setting the table-topper on the victory path.

Jampshedpur's attack lacked the incisiveness and purpose that its opponent showed in abundance. The host’s only good effort came in the 17th minute when a free-kick taken by its Nigerian striker Azuka Izu was tipped over by the Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Before Jamshedpur could plot another attack, the Chhetri flew in to nod home a corner and sealed the fate of the match in the 34th minute.

Jamshedpur coach Steve Coppell tried to repair its porous defence introducing Anas Edathodika after the break. But the Indian defender did not seem to have recovered from his hamstring injury as he was replaced after 10 minutes.

The host found two quick chances after the break but could not find the target as Jerry Mawhimgthanga and Azuka remained off target. Bengaluru successfully defended its two-goal lead as Jamshedpur's continued to falter and was reduced to 10 men when substitute Mehtab Hossain received his second booking in the 90th minute.