ISL 2019-20: Serran header, Chhetri penalty helps Bengaluru post 2-0 win over NorthEast

Catch the highlights and more from the Indian Super League (ISL) encounter between North East United FC and Bengaluru FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri trains with teammates ahead of the clash against NorthEast United.   -  ISL

Hello all! Catch all the highlights from the ISL encounter between NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

 

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FULL TIME: And there goes the whistle! Defending champion Bengaluru FC maintains its unbeaten run away from home. However, the side clearly wasn't at its best today. The Sunil Chhetri penalty did change things a bit, as we got to see more intent from the players after that.

NEUFC, however, will be disappointed with the numerous spoiled opportunities. It did play a good game, with a lot of positives to take into its next encounter. But today just wasn't its day.

 

92' Juan Antonio Gonzalez has been adjudged Hero of the Match.

90' SUBSTITUTION: Gursimrat walks in for Chhetri. This will be his first appearance, this season. Meanwhile, we will have an added time of four minutes.

80' GOAL! A defensive horror from NEUFC! An unmarked Serran in the box sees the defender pocket his first goal of the season as Erik sends in a delightful cross from the flanks.

78' Another missed opportunity! NEUFC couldn't have come this close to equalising. Triadis fizzes one from a tight angle but it has missed the target.

76' SUBSTITUTION: Ninthoi comes in for Redeem. Lakra comes in for Nim.

70' NEUFC's Gallego completes his return from injury, replacing Leudo for the last 20 minutes of this encounter. He is greeted with wild cheers from the home crowd.

66' PENALTY AWARDED TO BFC after Redeem handles the ball in the box! The 15th spot kick of the season will be taken by India and BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri. Is this the moment?

Sunil Chhetri's piercing shot, which finds the bottom left corner of the net, puts Bengaluru 1-0 up. Easy as it goes, Chhetri scores his fifth goal of the season.

64' Both the sides have restricted each other to the midfield. The defences of each side have been impenetrable.

59' Sunil Chhetri ghosts in at the far post and heads a cross on target but there is not enough thrust on it to cause any serious damage. Moreover, he was a bit too far out.

54' Meanwhile, the balance is shifting in favour of the host as it now enjoys a better possession now. The intensity of playmaking has clearly seen a rise after the first half but they do have to breach a strong BFC defence to cause some trouble.

#StatAttack: NorthEast United FC has conceded 44% of goals from corners.

50' Jose Leudo handles the ball: the referee awards a free kick but does not book him. The NorthEast United FC skipper can count himself lucky.

48' FOUL! Bheke has been called out by the referee for jersey pulling.

46' All square, all to play for in the second half at the IG Stadium in Guwahati. Interestingly, Ashique has been replaced at half-time with Semboi Haokip. Is it an injury after the physical battle for winning the ball on the left flank in the 32nd minute? We are yet to know.

SECOND HALF

 

FIRST HALF: Quite the end-to-end action, is what one would say after the first 45 minutes! The defence has been quite good, when required the most. Both Gurpreet and Subhasish have been equally tested at both ends, but clearly Bengaluru seemed more probable of the two to get an early lead. Boss Carles Cuadrat wouldn't be too happy with the Udanta miss.

45' Two minutes of added time, folks. Delgado, too far out of the box, gets the last touch on an NEUFC corner, before the ball sails out of play.

38' Bengaluru is having a bad day. Rahul Bheke tests Subhasish Roy again with a header off a pinpoint curler from another setpiece taken by Dimas Delgado. Bheke tries to nod it in towards the left corner of the net but Roy throws himself to stop the ball just outside the line.

36' Another foul and Rahul Bheke would be relieved that the referee doesn't dish out a yellow card.

32' MISS OF THE SEASON, is it?! Udanta spoils a golden opportunity. Ashique wins a battle for the ball on the left wing and sends in an impeccable cross. An open goal in sight, Udanta comes in with a diving header, but, but, but... It ricochets off the crossbar. That must be devastating!

30' 56% of Bengaluru's corners have come from set-pieces and now it has yet another opportunity to take a lead before half-time. The ball swirls in towards Chhetri who goes for a shot. The wall does it again for NEUFC. Its defence has been top-notch today.

25' Bengaluru heaves a sigh of relief after Gurpreet makes a crucial save as Chaves outruns Serran on the left and intercepts Bheke to nudge one on target.

20' Khawlrhing's shot goes for a corner after taking a deflection.

15' Ashique displays his defensive prowess, dispossesses a NorthEast United player before blocking the cross from another.

11' CLOSE SHAVE! Sunil Chhetri's taken charge of the ball. The skipper passes the ball into the box, but his effort is thwarted.

7' Leudo's hacked Ashique to the ground and he's in some discomfort. Senen Alvarez, the club physio, has made his way onto the pitch to tend to the injury.

4' - SAVE! Sunil Chhetri feeds a through pass to Ashique Kuruniyan on the left but the latter's shot is guarded by Subhasish, who goes down early to collect the ball.

2' - A defensive lapse from Bengaluru FC sees Martin Chaves send a back pass to Lalengmawia, who tries to slot home but to no avail.

 

FIRST HALF

 

NorthEast United FC 0-0 Bengaluru FC

The national anthem has been sung and we are all set for the live action to commence!

On the table

FC Goa leads the table with 15 points from eight games while Hyderabad FC is languishing at the bottom with just four points. NorthEast United FC, fifth in the table with 10 points from seven games, will hope to deny No. 3 Bengaluru FC a chance to go top with a win in Guwahati.

 

NorthEast United FC Playing XI

NorthEast United FC's starting XI: Subhasish Roy (GK), Nim Dorjee, Reagan Singh, Heerings Kai, Mislav Komorski, Panagiotis Triadis, Redeem Tlang, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Lalengmawia, Jose Leudo (C), Martin Chaves.

Bengaluru FC Playing XI

 

Bengaluru FC’s starting XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Juanan, Harmanjot Khabra, Erik Paartalu, Nishu Kumar, Dimas Delgado, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri (C).

 

Match preview

Bengaluru FC will be eager to make amends after suffering a first defeat of the season on Sunday. After being undone by an injury-time strike at home against Mumbai City, Carles Cuadrat's men have now made the long trip to Assam to face Northeast United. Wednesday's Indian Super League clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, originally scheduled to be played behind closed doors, will now be open to supporters.

Despite having shipped three goals on Sunday, BFC holds the best defensive record in the league, having conceded only five goals in total. It is the offensive display that will concern Cuadrat, with none of the attackers, apart from Sunil Chhetri, seemingly in form.

“Last year we were champions but we lost an important player (Miku)," the BFC head coach said. "We have been unlucky about the situation now. Ashique (Kuruniyan) is with 0 assists and 0 goals and Udanta (Singh) only one goal. So, of course, we have problems that way but at the same time we work in a way where they help us defensively.”

NorthEast, on the other hand, is now winless in three matches and comes into this game fresh off a 3-0 loss to ATK. The side also lost star striker Asamoah Gyan to injury in that game, with the Ghanaian unlikely to feature against BFC.

“It was very bad for us. That was the worst match we played. We never played so badly before. We have to forget that day and continue working hard,” NorthEast coach Robert Jarni said.

BFC, meanwhile, will be without Manuel Onwu, who is yet to recover from an ankle injury. Northeast's Federico Gallego, who suffered a broken leg against BFC last season, will return to action for the Highlanders.

Match details

North East United FC vs Bengaluru FC will be telecast on the Star Sports network and can also be streamed live on Hotstar. Kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 PM IST.