BFC edge Chennai City

Football I-League : Norales, Vineeth score to hand hosts second victory

BFC edge Chennai City

Roby Norales made a dream debut as he netted for defending champions Bengaluru Football Club in a 2-0 victory over a resolute Chennai City FC in their second I-League fixture at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday.

The Honduran, who joined the Blues a day before the season began, replaced Mandar Rao Dessai in the 58th minute and broke the deadlock with a strike in the 77th minute.

Albert Roca's tactical prowess was on display as his side extended their lead through another substitute, CK Vineeth, who struck a superb goal two minutes after Norales.
Bengaluru continue to top the standings with six points from their two outings, ahead of Mohun Bagan only on goal difference, while Chennai find themselves in seventh.

It wasn't easy for the home side in the first half even though they peppered the opposition goal with a barrage of attacks but Chennai's custodian Karanjit Singh kept his side in the game.

Roca's men had their first clear chance in the sixth minute when Harmanjot Singh Khabra cushioned a nice floated ball from Lenny Rodrigues to Sunil Chhetri. Chhetri’s shot deflected off Dhanpal Ganesh and almost sneaked in for an own goal but it was eventually cleared by a defender.

Karanjit was then tested for the first time four minutes later as Dessai moved his way past a couple of defenders and lifted a cross to Udanta Singh, who was in the thick of things in the first half. The 20-year-old laid it off to striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia whose shot was well saved by Karanjit, who had to be at full stretch.

BFC came knocking again in the 26th minute when skipper Chhetri linked up with Lalhlimpuia but the striker's effort was once again thwarted by Karanjit.

Chennai began to settle down after the 30th minute and slowly started restricting Bengaluru in the midfield.

The visitors would have definitely been the happier side at the break, having held the defending champions goalless.

The second half was largely uneventful till the 77th minute when the 12,000-odd crowd was sent into raptures. Chennai failed to deal with Eugeneson Lyngdoh's free-kick from a central position. After a melee in front of the goal, the ball fell to Norales, who was unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box and the forward made to mistake in slotting the ball past a helpless Karanjit.

Chhetri's men almost immediately doubled their lead after defender John Johnson released Udanta on the right flank. The diminutive Manipuri then played a well weighted cross to Vineeth, who had made a darting run into the box. The BFC striker’s first-time shot beat the Chennai goalkeeper hands down, as the home fans celebrated.

East Bengal win

Meanwhile, Haitian striker Wedson Anselme and Trinidad Tobago’s Willis Plaza struck on either side of the break as Kolkata giants East Bengal logged home three crucial away points beating DSK Shivajians 2-1 in the second round encounter in Pune.

Trevor James Morgan’s side now have four points from two games. For the Shivajians, stopper Gourmangi Singh had equalised in the 64th minute after Wedson had converted a penalty in the 13th minute.

Plaza scored the winner, 10 minutes from the final whistle.

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