BFC return to winning ways

Footballl I-League : Lenny scores in 1-0 win over Minerva

BFC return to winning ways

 Bengaluru FC claimed their first win in over a month and a half as a Lenny Rodrigues’ header in the 17th minute gave them a 1-0 victory against Minerva Punjab FC at the Guru Nanak Stadium, here on Sunday.

The result marked Albert Roca’s first away win in charge of Bengaluru and sends them to fourth position with 16 points from 11 games. Minerva, meanwhile, saw their six-game unbeaten run come to an end are placed seventh on the table with 11 points.

Bengaluru shaped in a 4-4-2   formation where John Johnson returned to the centre of defence alongside Juan Gonzalez, while Serbian striker Marjan Jugovic made his Bengaluru debut. And it didn’t take long for Johnson to show the kind of assuredness he brings with him, winning aerial duels at will, while giving Juan the freedom to join in attack. Nishu Kumar at left-back was a constant threat, taking on the Minerva defence bravely and giving enough reason for Bengaluru to throw numbers in the box in attack.

But in what was the most important ‘first’ on the day for Bengaluru, Lenny leaped high to nod home Cameron Watson’s take from the corner, a goal that marked his first since signing for the side in the summer.

Having learned well enough about the lack of assurance a one-goal lead has given them in the past, Bengaluru kept pressing for a second with Jugovic and CK Vineeth working hard together on a pitch that didn’t really help the cause as Bengaluru could take just the goal to the dressing room at half-time.

In a second half that saw a better-adjusted Bengaluru side, Udanta Singh had a shot saved in the 49th minute before Jugovic saw his looping header float inches high of the Minerva crossbar.

Lalhlimpuia had more than a few efforts to double Bengaluru’s lead, combining well with the skipper Sunil Chhetri, but lacking the finishing touch as the league champions settled for the 1-0 win.

DSK hold Chennai

In the other game of the day, a late goal from Shane McFaul helped DSK Shivajians hold Chennai City FC to a 1-1 draw in Chennai.

Afghan national Haroon Amiri (42th minute) opened the scoring against his former side, but McFaul’s late equaliser (90+3 minute) for Shivajians ensured that the points were shared between both the sides.

Chennai was the better side in the opening half, and expectedly took the lead just before the half-time break. Nandhakumar swung in a corner to the near post where Amiri was left unmarked. The Afghan midfielder easily directed a header home from close range.

Though Shivajians were restricted to their half for most of the game, they dug deep to draw level late into the game. After a goalmouth scramble, Charles’ acrobatic clearance deflected off a player and fell to an unmarked McFaul who volleyed a sweet finish into the far corner.

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