Bengaluru FC dish out stuff of champions in opener

Udanta Bags Brace, Sena Scores On Debut As Blues Blank Hapless Lajong 3-0 To Get I-League Off To A Flier

Udanta Singh turned up with a brace that had both, a hint of luck and a moment of brilliance while Sena Ralte had his own moment of magic, as Bengaluru FC got the defence of their I-League title off to a perfect start with a 3-0 win over Shillong Lajong at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

Having shopped post the Blues’ AFC Cup run to the final, coach Albert Roca handed starts to Ralte, Harmanjot Khabra and Lenny Rodrigues as Bengaluru stamped dominance over Lajong after a measured opening ten minutes. Khabra was busy on the right, joining every attack while Sena was a delight on the ball with his composure and strength. But it was Lenny, with his laidback style of play, who impressed the most in midfield.

But for all the flair that Bengaluru FC passed and kept the ball with, it was a goalmouth scramble that gave the Blues the opener in the 26th minute. John Johnson dug the ball out of the mess and Udanta rolled it in with Vishal Kaith out of position.

While he was happy to put a scrappy finish to his name, Udanta fixed things with some sublime skill in the 68thminute. Picked out on the right in the box, Udanta flicked the ball over his marker before smashing the ball past Kaith’s reach.

Lajong were scrambling for answers as Bengaluru laid siege in their half, passing the ball at will and dictating play. A defensive clearance from Lajong fell at the feet of left-back Ralte, who smashed home from over 30 yards in what was arguably the goal of the night, to make it 3-0 to the Blues, a repeat of the result from the same fixture last year while maintaining their 100% win record over Lajong at home.

The Blues next face Chennai City FC at the Kanteerava on 14th.