Spirited BFC drub DSK

ON THE MARK: Bengaluru FC's Venezualan striker Miku celebrates after scoring against Mohun Bagan on Tuesday. The Blues defeated Bagan 4-2 and will meet East Bengal in the final on Friday. (BFC Media)

After a lacklustre performance that saw them fall 1-2 to Sporting Clube De Goa on Saturday, an inspired Bengaluru FC came back strongly to get the better of I-League first-timers DSK Shivajians 4-1 and soar to the top of the table at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri, North Korean striker Kim Song Yong, local lad Shankar Sampingiraj and Seiminlen Doungel were on target for the Blues while Sampathkumar Kuttymani scored a consolation goal for the visitors.

On a balmy evening, backed by a small yet vociferous crowd, BFC showed no signs of any ill-effects from their previous defeat and began briskly. DSK matched up to their opponents for the first quarter of an hour as they had a couple of shots at goal. But it was the home side that broke the deadlock in the 14th minute after Kim was fouled by DSK's Justin Stephen on the edge of the box.

Chhetri stepped up and superbly beat DSK custodian Subrata Paul with a well-placed free-kick that found the top left corner.  Having taken the lead, BFC continued to apply pressure on DSK as Beingaichho Beikhokhei made a couple of darting runs on the right flank but couldn’t deliver a telling pass or two. BFC kept knocking on the doors and eventually got their second in the 33rd minute.

Rino Anto played in a delightful cross that found Kim, who did well to get into a good position in the box, and he headed past a hapless Paul. Just before half-time, Kuttymani struck to pull one back for Shivajians. The lively Douhou Pierre evaded a couple of BFC defenders to cross into the box where Kuttymani played a slick flick past Amrinder Singh.

After the break, Bengaluru came out showing positive intent and almost immediately added to their tally in the 47th minute as Chhetri squared the ball into the box, only for Shankar to fire over the crossbar. But Shankar had his goal six minutes later as he latched on to a loose ball, after Beikhokhei's header was saved by Paul, and tapped home to make it 3-1. In firm control, BFC punished DSK further in the 81st minute with Dounghel calmly slotting past a charging Paul to score his first goal for the club. After seven games, BFC have 15 points, one more than East Bengal. DSK remain rooted to eighth spot with four points from six games.

In Mumbai, Sony Norde missed one of the easiest of chances as Mohun Bagan were held to a goalless draw by a spirited Mumbai FC in their fifth-round tie.

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