Bengaluru FC (BFC) took a big step towards grabbing a playoff spot with an impressive 2-1 win over table-topper Mumbai City FC in their Indian Super League fixture here on Wednesday.
Second-half goals from Sunil Chhetri and Javi Hernandez gave BFC a seventh consecutive win. BFC (31 points) now sits fourth on the points table, with one game to go.
Mumbai City’s hopes of staying unbeaten through the season went up in flames.
Chhetri, included in the starting eleven for the first time in seven matches, troubled the Mumbai City defence. He made three attempts on goal in the first half, before finally breaking through in the 57th minute.
The Indian captain hit the target with a header off a corner kick and ran towards the West Block Blues stand to celebrate. Chhetri, who got to play only because regular striker Roy Krishna is serving a suspension, received a standing ovation when he left the field in the 83rd minute.
BFC added a second through an excellent run by Aleksandar Jovanovic. The Australian accelerated into the box, leaving his marker Sanjeev Stalin in the dust. Jovanovic then laid off the perfect pass for Javi Hernandez, who slotted it in from close range.
At this stage, BFC looked on course for an easy victory. But it was not quite straightforward, as Mumbai City struck back with a goal from captain Mourtada Fall. The home team was then bombarded by attacks in the last 10 minutes but managed to hold on.
Mumbai City FC missed a golden chance in the first half when Bipin Singh had only BFC custodian Gurpreet Singh to beat. A clumsy left-footed effort from Bipin, however, did not trouble Gurpreet.
The result: BFC 2 (Sunil Chhetri 57, Javi Hernandez 70) bt Mumbai City FC 1 (Mourtada Fall 77).
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