BFC snatch vital victory

BFC snatch vital victory

Football I-League : Westwood's men just a win away from regaining the crown

BFC snatch vital victory

 They came into the game knowing a win could put them in a good position to regain the I-League title. And though they went behind to a reckless East Bengal in the initial stages of the game, Bengaluru FC fought back in fine fashion to record a thumping 3-1 win over the Kolkata giants here at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Sunday.

East Bengal went ahead in the 28th minute through a Do Dong-hyun strike, but they couldn’t hold on to their lead as Eugeneson Lyngdoh (30th minute), Kim Song Yong (64th) and Malsawmzuala (70th) pumped in a goal apiece to help the hosts pocket three points.
The win means Bengaluru has leapfrogged champions Mohun Bagan to the summit of the league table with 29 points from their 14 games, and now a victory against Salgaocar FC here on Sunday would seal the title in their favour.

Keen to assert their supremacy on the game and eliminate East Bengal from the title race, Bengaluru began the tie in familiar attacking fashion.

Their North Korean import Kim was the first to create an opening in the seventh minute as he did everything right to get behind his marker and beat goalkeeper TP Rehenesh. But to his misfortune, the ball rolled past the far post keeping the score line intact.

Later, Lyngdoh tested the Bengal ’keeper with a first-time volley, while Lalchuanmawia and Kim once again had their moments in front of the goal, but none could slot the ball into the Bengal goal as the visiting team lived dangerously in the opening quarter of the game.

Though busy bombarding the opposition goal with incessant waves of attack, Bengaluru was also the first team to concede at a noisy Kanteerava. Caught napping in the middle of the park, Malsawmzuala failed to control a back pass as East Bengal’s Dong-hyun pounced on the loose ball and sprinted into the Bengaluru penalty area to slot the ball past a diving Amrinder Singh to hand visitors the lead.

Lyngdoh strikes

That, however, was the only bright spot for the Red and Gold brigade as Bengaluru soon restored parity through Lyngdoh. The AIFF Player of the Year is well known for his trickery with the foot. But on Sunday, he surprised many with his aerial abilities as the Shillong-born player rose high enough to nod in the equaliser with a low yet powerful header.

Back on level terms, Bengaluru were not the one to sit back and enjoy the remainder of the tie as they continued to terrorise the opposition with their high-pressing game. And the move paid dividends in the second period.

Skipping his marker with ease, Lyngdoh sent in a well weighed pass from right, something Kim obliged to and nodded his side into lead just moments before the 18-year-old Malsawmzuala settled the tie with a controlled strike 30 yards from goal.
That goal will go down more as a goalkeeping howler than a strike of beauty from the youngster.

BFC though were not complaining. With three points from the game, they are well-placed to wrap up the title next Sunday itself.

Even if they fail to cross the Salgaocar hurdle, they will get another bite at the cherry when they travel to Kolkata for the final match of the league, against Mohun Bagan. But looking at the hunger they displayed on Sunday, they look poised to seal the deal before the final round itself.

Sporting Clube win

Sporting Clube de Goa finished their home leg encounters with an impressive 5-2 win over Shillong Lajong to move to fourth place in the I-League standings on Sunday.

At the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Sporting desperately needed a win and scored through Mehrajuddin Wadoo (2nd minute), Sumeet Passi (21st, 33rd), Subhasish Bose (65th) and Mahmoud Al Amna (89th) to take their tally to 18 points from 14 matches.

While Pen Orji score twice for Shillong Lajong to remain on 15 points from 14 matches. They are placed fifth.

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