Bengaluru suffer shock defeat

Football I-League

Leaders Bengaluru FC slipped to their second defeat at this venue in the current I-League season, losing 0-3 to Shillong Lajong FC on Sunday.

BFC, who had earlier lost to Rangdajeid, struggled to find their rhythm and spurned a clutch of chances to suffer their fourth defeat of the season. They still lead the table with 37 points from 20 matches while Salgaocar, placed second, are on 34 points. Pune FC, in third place, are a further four points adrift, after suffering a shock defeat to Churchill Brothers on the day.

After a first half of rather desultory football, the match sprang into life in the 46th minute with Uilliams Souza Silva scoring the opener for the hosts and Cornell Glen providing another two later on.

The weather in Shillong took a sudden turn on Sunday. Warm afternoons were replaced by a heavy downpour that left the field wet and conditions cold. That may have taken the sting out of both teams, although the rain had ended before the match began.

Deep into the first half, former SLFC player Johnny Menyongar rattled the crossbar with a powerful shot from long-range in the 41st minute, while Sean Rooney later fired the ball over the bar.

Uilliams then lifted his team mates and the large crowd with his goal 50 seconds after the restart. Minchol Son passed the ball to Glen, who was stationed on the right, and the Trinidadian produced a measured ball forward for the Brazilian striker. Uilliams’ job was made a little difficult by an awkward bounce, but he muscled the ball across the line off the crossbar.BFC captain Sunil Chhetri had a free kick blocked by the defensive wall in the 53rd minute, while Menyongar fired the ball over the bar four minutes later.

The hosts doubled the lead in the 81st minute when Glen weaved his way into the box past a couple of defenders and neatly placed the ball past goalkeeper Pawan Kumar.

Things then went from bad to worse for the visitors. Attempting to clear the ball outside the box, Kumar was found guilty of handling the ball and was sent off with a straight red. Rooney then made way for substitute keeper Soram Anganba.

BFC were then reduced to nine men after Osano was red-carded for a foul. Glen converted the resultant penalty to complete a miserable day for the visitors.

In Kolkata, East Bengal defeated Rangadjied 3-1. Edeh Chidi’s early penalty conversion was cancelled out by Rangdajied’s Ranti Martins but Reisangmi Vashum put the red-and-gold brigade back in front just before the interval and substitute Semilen Doungel sealed the points early in the second period.

Mohun Bagan also carved out a 3-1 win, over Sporting Clube de Goa at Nehru stadium, Fatorda. Striker Odafa Okolie rescued Bagan with a brace of goals. Christopher Chizoba was also on target for Bagan while Rowllin Borges scored the lone goal for Sporting Clube.

At Tilak Maidan, also in Goa, Churchill scored two goals in the last five minutes of added time through Balwant Singh and Bineesh Balan to stun Pune 3-2. Anthony Wolfe had provided Churchill with the lead only for Australian striker Mirjan Pavlovic to restore parity. In the second session, Mustapga Riga made it 2-1 for Pune before hosts struck back.

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