Bengaluru make rousing start

Bengaluru make rousing start

Bengaluru FC began their maiden Indian Super League campaign with a satisfying 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Sunday.

Debutant Edu Garcia got the Bengaluru chapter of his career to a flying start with a fine goal in the 67th minute while skipper Sunil Chhetri completed the proceeding with his 50th goal for the club in the injury time.

A new competition where he had the liberty to use as many as five foreigners, coach Albert Roca didn't shy away from making full use of the quota available. Garcia partnered Chhetri and Udanta Singh in the attack while John Johnson was back in the defence with Juan Gonazales, Harmanjot Khabra and Rahul Bheke making up a four-man defence.

Though the Mumbai line-up looked a bit baffling with head coach Alexandre Guimarães choosing not to start with any recognised striker - Leonardo de Costa played as a false nine - that was to be their plan as the visitors proved a hard nut to crack. While Bengaluru attacked, Mumbai were happy to sit back and defend deep.

Bengaluru had to wait till midway through the first half to have a clear hit at the goal. But when they did, Chhetri saw his attempt fly past the goal by a whisker. This was after another of their new recruit Nicolás Ladislao Fedor Flores, fondly known as Miku, had floated a well-weighed cross for his skipper.

Soon after Udanta would see his shot fly past the Mumbai goal, but what surprised many was his poor decision-making ability moments later when the pacy winger decided to square off a Chhetri pass despite being clear on goal, allowing Mumbai's centre-back Marcio Rozario track back and avert the danger.

On a night that saw them being restricted to shooting from distance, the Mumbai side too created a few opportunities that had the Bengaluru defence gasping for breath. Sahil Tavora had a shot at the Bengaluru goal, but his shot was blocked by at alert Gonzales.

Returning with a plan to continue to from where they left, the Bengaluru boys showed no remorse as they bombarded the Mumbai goal with incessant waves of attack. While some failed to find a way behind the Mumbai backline, when it did Amrinder was ready and waiting to pounce on the ball.

But though they defended well in open play, Mumbai was caught wanting in set pieces and it was no surprise that Bengaluru got their first-ever ISL goal through a corner.

In what looked like a training ground routine, Bengaluru chose to go short from a corner with Udanta finding Garcia on the edge of the penalty area. The Spaniard then made no mistake as he found the bottom corner of the Amrinder goal to give Bengaluru the lead.

Later, Chhetri pounced on a rare mistake from Amrinder to seal the game for his side with a lob into the goal.

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