Bengaluru FC extend unbeaten streak to 11

Bengaluru FC extend unbeaten streak to 11

FC Goa keep their semifinal hopes alive

Bengaluru FC extend unbeaten streak to 11

Bengaluru FC stretched their unbeaten run to eleven games in all competitions after goals from Miku and Sunil Chhetri gave the Blues a 2-0 win over Jamshedpur FC at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

The win that took Albert Roca's side to 37 points in a one-horse-race to pole position, meant the Blues have now beaten every team in the Indian Super League at least once.

Stressing the need to keep the winning momentum going, Roca started with Miku, Chhetri and Udanta Singh in attack and the trio took the game to the hosts in a matter of minutes.

Roca wore an exasperated look after Bengaluru floundered two big chances in the space of three minutes with the Jamshedpur defence all at sea. Antonio Dovale set Miku through with a fine pass and the Venezuelan's cross for Chhetri flew past Subrata Paul, but the skipper couldn't get a foot to it. Soon after it would be Miku with nowhere to look to after heading wide Udanta's cross with Paul well beaten.

But the duo, who have been lethal together all season, would get shots at redemption in the first half itself that they would make count. Put through on goal by a ball from the middle, Miku rounded off Paul whose hand caught the striker's leg prompting the referee to point to the spot. With his strike partner hot on the heels of FC Goa's Ferran Corominas for the chase to the golden boot, Chhetri stepped back to let Miku face Paul and the striker put Bengaluru in the lead with a composed finish in the 23rd minute.

Having set the tempo, Bengaluru pushed Jamshedpur back and Udanta came close on two occasions. Bengaluru earned a corner from one of Udanta's attempts in the 34th minute and Chhetri met Dimas Delgado's take with a perfect header that he glanced beyond the reach of Paul to make it 2-0.

With three teams chasing Jamshedpur for that play-off spot, the hosts needed to claw back into the game and looked to threaten in attack on a few occasions in the second half. But another solid show by the Bengaluru defence and specifically Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in goal, kept any hint of danger at bay.

Bengaluru now host Kerala Blasters at home on  March 1  in what will be their last game of the league stages.

Corominas shines

Leading goal-getter Corominas struck twice in the second half as FC Goa produced top-drawer stuff to rout FC Pune City 4-0, keeping their play-off hopes alive on Sunday.

Needing nothing less than a victory to stay in the hunt for the semifinals in their 16th round game, Goa took a solitary goal lead in the first half lead through a penalty converted by Spaniard Manuel Lanzarote (28th minute).

The floodgates opened in the second half as they got three goals more through Frenchman Hugo Boumous (47th) and Spaniard Corominas (58th, 65th) to end their five-game winless streak in style.

The resounding victory, which was also Goa's first clean sheet this season, lifted them to the sixth spot with 24 points under their belt while Pune remained one rung behind table toppers Bengaluru FC. Pune stay put on 29 points with a game in hand to seal their play-off berth.

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