ISL 2018: Udanta's goal sinks Delhi Dynamos

Udanta Singh's low drive clipped a defender’s heel and went in off the far post in the 87th minute as Bengaluru FC made it a memorable finish in Sunil Chhetri's 150th game.

Bengaluru FC's Udanta Singh in action against Delhi Dynamos.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Until the 87th minute, Sunil Chhetri’s 150th game for Bengaluru FC (BFC) was nowhere close to being an occasion to remember. But Udanta Singh did the star turn to steal a narrow 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Monday.

After a melee near the edge of the penalty area, the ball fell to the 22-year-old and his low drive clipped a defender’s heel and went in off the far post. The result sent BFC top of the table on 19 points from seven matches even as it stretched the Dynamos’ winless run to nine matches.

As it happened

The visitor was left to rue a host of missed chances especially in the first half.  But for a early Chhetri dash towards the goal, after he was sent through by midfielder Xisco Hernandez, BFC had little to show.

Dynamos’ Adria Perez, playing as a withdrawn forward, was a constant threat while BFC spent much of the time hoisting hopeful balls upfield for its pacy trio of Chhetri, Udanta and Chencho Gyeltshen to latch on to.

 

Only that it paid almost no dividends. The Dynamos should have ideally buried the game near the half-hour mark but right-winger NandhaKumar and forward Andrija Kaluderovic wasted multiple chances.   

First, Kaluderovic hoofed the ball over the bar from a promising range following a one-two with Nandhakumar. Then the latter missed an one-on-one with goal-keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and minutes later couldn't convert a delightful through ball by Gianni Zuiverloon — who had an excellent game — sending it soaring over.

 

Lallianzuala fluffed what was the best opportunity of the match, hitting it straight at Sandhu when he had just the BFC goalie to beat. Rahul Bheke, who was playing as a left-back, was troubled all the while.

The hosts’ coach Carles Cuadrat changed things in the second period bringing on midfielder Erik Paartalu and striker Semboi Haokip. It brought in a semblance of balance and Xisco nearly scored with 20 minutes left, from a move which originated with Semboi pressing the Dynamos’ defence. It wasn’t long before Udanta cut out the Dynamos’ fuse.

Result: Bengaluru FC 1 (Udanta Singh 87) bt Delhi Dynamos 0.