Vineeth 'tricks in BFC victory

Football I-League : Hosts thump Mumbai 3-0

Vineeth 'tricks in BFC victory

Champions Bengaluru FC continued their charge in the I-League with a resounding 3-0 win over Mumbai FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.

C K Vineeth was once again the star for the hosts, netting a hat-trick (45+1, 57th, 65th minutes) to complete the rout.

The win helped Bengaluru maintain their pole position in the league with nine points, as Mohun Bagan was pushed to the second spot, on goal difference.  Up against a side that has preferred an all-out attacking approach so far in the league, the Bengaluru head coach Albert Roca named a slightly different side. While Cameron Watson expectedly returned to the starting XI after missing the previous game, Vineeth and Nishu Kumar were handed their first start of the season.

Bengaluru were on the money from the first whistle. With skipper Sunil Chhetri and Vineeth in sync up front and Eugeneson Lyngdoh filling in in the midfield, Mumbai had to be on their toes. And they were as Reagan Singh and Pratik Chowdhary held a tight line at the back, while Shallum Pires and Lalchhawnkima didn’t allow Chhetri and Udanta Singh any breathing space on the wings.

Their skipper Steven Dias too got into the act soon, with his piercing balls from the flank. While the Indian veteran did all he could to set up his team-mates inside the opposition box, none of the Mumbai forwards could find a way through as Juan Gonzales and John Johnson thwarted the danger without much fuss.

Bengaluru too had their time on a breezy evening, but they had to wait till the final seconds of the opening half to find the back of the net. Fed by a smart ball from Udanta, Watson squared for Vineeth five yards from the goal. And the 28-year-old did no mistake to guide the ball into the goal to open Bengaluru’s account for the night.

Returning with similar intentions after the break, Bengaluru soon put the game to bed. And this time, it was the Mumbai defence that was at fault. Spotting an unmarked Harmanjot Khabra on the far side, Udanta send the Punjab player on a free run down the flank. Though Khabra did well to send in a cross, it was Reagan’s mistimed clearance that allowed Vineeth to slot in the second goal past an hapless Laxmikant Kattimani in the Mumbai goal.

While the second goal could be blamed on the Mumbai defence, the third saw Bengaluru display some sleek football to add insult to Mumbai’s injury. Once again, a composed Khabra set up Vineeth with a well-weighted pass and the striker cut outside to beat his marker and then drilled in a low shot into the goal to complete what was the first hat-trick in the history of the Bengaluru club.

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