Bengaluru back to winning ways

Bengaluru back to winning ways

CLINICAL Bengaluru FC’s Udanta Singh scores his side’s second goal against FC Goa at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Thursday. DH PHOTO/BH SHIVAKUMAR

Bengaluru FC (BFC) produced a scintillating performance to defeat FC Goa 3-0 despite playing with a man down for the entirety of the second period in the Indian Super League at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Thursday.

Fullback Nishu Kumar was sent off by referee Pranjal Banerjee in the 42nd minute for a foul on Goa’s Jackichand Singh. The BFC defender was earlier booked for pulling Jackichand in the 25th minute.   

It, however, made little difference as the hosts’, buoyed on by nearly 13,000 supporters, showed no signs of nervousness and churned out a dominating show. Defender Juanan opened the scoring for the BFC in the 50th minute before winger Udanta Singh doubled their advantage eight minutes later. The contest was finally put to bed by Miku’s stunner in the 69th minute.

The victory puts BFC back on top with 34 points from 17 games. Goa, who have 31, slipped to the second place. Without their talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri, who missed out due to a muscle strain, BFC got off to a slow start. Goa, on the other hand, enjoyed a large chunk of possession and threatened first in the fourth minute through Moroccan midfielder Ahmed Jahouh, whose ferocious shot from distance rattled the post, with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu beaten.

BFC spurned a glorious chance in the 18th minute. Midfielder Luisma surged ahead with the ball before passing it to Miku, who flicked it to Xisco, before making a run inside the box. The midfielder, seeing his movement, lobbed the ball in his path but the forward failed to connect.

Three minutes later, another chance went begging after Xisco sent Udanta’s cross from the right, wide of the post. Bengaluru’s dominance was cut short when Nishu, attempting to win a header, brought down Jackichand. The referee deemed the tackle too harsh. A show of disapproval didn’t help his cause either as the referee gave the marching orders.

Soon after, Goa custodian Naveen Kumar pulled off a spectacular save to deny Harmanjot Khabra. BFC, playing with 10-man, went into the break with scores reading 0-0.

They returned with purpose and took the lead. Xisco swung the ball inside the box, looking for Miku, who laid it to Juanan who wasted no time in smashing it into the net.

The second goal arrived in the 58th minute. Dimas Delgado was the architect. He lobbed the ball in the path of Udanta, who ran clear of the defenders. He took a touch before blasting it past the hapless Naveen.

With BFC running the show, Miku too joined the party as he collected a pass from Delgado before firing it into the top right corner of the net.