ISL 2019-20: Bengaluru FC 2-1 FC Goa - Talking Points

Sunil Chhetri's scored a brace as Bengaluru FC edged out FC Goa 2-1 in the first ISL match of 2020 at the Kanteerava Stadium on Friday.

His brace against FC Goa took Sunil Chhetri to third in the goal scoring chart, behind ATK's Roy Krishna and Goa's Ferran Corominas, who have eight goals each to their names, by one goal.   -  ISL Media

Bengaluru FC climbed to second place in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 table after Sunil Chhetri scored twice in the second half to earn the defending champion a 2-1 win over FC Goa at the Kanteerava Stadium on Friday.

Hugo Boumous pulled the visitor level in the 61st minute two minutes after Chhetri's opening goal, but Goa struggled to create chances in the final third as it tried to push for a second equaliser.

Here are the key moments which swung the match in Bengaluru's favour.

REPORT | Bengaluru FC 2-1 FC Goa

Goa's defence comes up short

Goa created more chances in the first half but held firm at the back as the Bengaluru forwards struggled in the final third. Goa's teenager goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz made a decent save to keep out Nishu Kumar's stinging drive.

However, the visitor's defence switched off in the 59th minute leaving Chhetri completely unmarked during a corner kick which allowed the Bengaluru skipper to time his jump to perfection and send a thumping header past the keeper.

In the 84th minute, Mourtada Fall failed to deal with a stray pass which allowed Ashique Kuruniyan to release Chhetri which sealed Goa's fate. Substitute Suresh Wangjam could've made 3-1 in the final minutes of the stages after Mandar Rao Dessai failed to clear the lines.

Jahouh and Brandon kept quiet

Ahmed Jahouh has played a starring role for Goa's run at the top with his crisp passing and pin-point deliveries from dead-ball situations. Sergio Lobera employed the midfielder to drop deep to build the from the back and spray the ball wide which Jahouh he was unable to do consistently. The Moroccon failed to lift Goa's spirit in the second half as his set-pieces often missed the mark and sent a desperate shot over the bar from a corner kick which summed up the visitor's evening.

Brandon Fernandes, the league's highest assist-maker, was harried off the ball by Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado who closed Goa's supply line through the middle. The 25-year old cut out a frustrated figure through out the game and resorted to play acting during a free kick situation in the first half. The referee let Brandon off the hook with a warning. The midfielder remained stagnant even after the play opened up in the second half leaving Ferran Corominas and Hugo Boumous to fend for themselves upfront.

READ | Cuadrat left frustrated by refereeing decisions in FC Goa match

Chhetri the difference between the two sides

Bengaluru had a couple of close chances in the first half but none of them came from Sunil Chhetri as the Indian skipper found it difficult to operate as a part of two-pronged attack upfront. Carles Cuadrat realised this quickly and sent Manuel Onwu upfront at half-time which allowed Chhetri the freedom to sneak in and out of the central areas.

The Indian national team skipper took full advantage of being left unmarked inside the box as he sent a thumping header into the back of the net and placed his shot perfectly into the right bottom corner after being set free towards the goal in the 84th minute. The brace took Chhetri to third in the goal scoring chart, as he trails ATK's Roy Krishna and Goa's Ferran Corominas, who have eight goals each to their names, by one goal.

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