ISL 2020-21 news: Chhetri penalty gives Bengaluru win over Chennaiyin

ISL 2020: Bengaluru FC got its first win of the Indian Super League season in a tense match against Chennaiyin FC in Bambolim, Goa.

Bengaluru FC registered its first win of the season courtesy Chhetri's second half penalty.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

A Sunil Chhetri spot-kick decided a tense Chennaiyin FC-Bengaluru FC tie and brought his team its first win of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) campaign at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa, on Friday.

Substitute Edwin Vanspaul brought down BFC forward Cleiton Silva with a sliding tackle. Chhetri converted in the 56th minute by hitting the ball low into the bottom-left corner, past Vishal Kaith’s outstretched arm. The loss was Chennaiyin’s first of the season to go with one win and one draw.

AS IT HAPPENED

At the outset, BFC showed more urgency than it had in its opening two games. Dimas Delgado, who made his first start of the season, was to lend the so-far lumbering BFC midfield some direction and incision. A through-ball in the second minute to set Silva free was indicative of this.

But the game soon turned feisty, with Chennaiyin creative midfielder Anirudh Thapa at the receiving end of a few bad tackles. Two such challenges from Ashique Kuruniyan forced Thapa to hobble off, replaced as early as the 16th minute by Vanspaul.

Chennaiyin, however, retained its shape, with the attacking duo of Lallianzuala Chhangte and Rafael Crivellaro keeping the opposition defenders busy. BFC, on its part, made multiple forays into the opposition half, especially towards the closing stages of the first period, but couldn’t break through and often backpedalled to safety.

Chennaiyin's Anirudh Thapa had to go off injured in the first half. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

Minutes after the break, Chennaiyin conceded a dangerous free-kick at the edge of the box on the left flank but BFC wasted it with an over-elaborate manoeuvre. Deepak Tangri came close for Chennaiyin, but his header was well saved by BFC goalie Gurpreet Sandhu.

Tackles flew and tempers raged, but clear-cut chances were few and far between. Delgado’s long-ranger, to which Kaith got a hand, two far-post volleys by Chennaiyin’s Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev after some excellent work by Chhangte from the left wing, and a drive from distance by BFC’s Erik Paartalu were the notable ones.

An appeal for a penalty in the 69th minute when Crivellaro’s header appeared to strike Kuruniyan’s hands fell on deaf ears.

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