Bengaluru FC off to winning start in Hero Elite League final phase

Akashdeep, Manbhakupar Fire Braces As Young Blues Down Delhi Dynamos 4-0

Goa: Bengaluru FC got off to a winning start in the final phase of the Hero Elite League with a dominant 4-0 win over Delhi Dynamos FC at the Utorda Ground in Goa, on Sunday. A brace each from striker Akashdeep Singh (18’, 90+3’) and midfielder Manbhakupar Iawphniaw (83’, 86’) handed John Kenneth Raj’s side all three points as took their place atop the table ahead of SAI Guwahati and East Bengal who played out a goalless draw in the other Group-C game.

Bengaluru, who began the game on the offensive, dominated majority of the proceedings in the first half and it was Akashdeep who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute after twisting and turning past two defenders before firing home from the edge of the box on the right. Six minutes later, the Young Blues had back-to-back chances through Akashdeep and skipper Amay Morajkar but the duo failed to capitalize on their opportunities.

Delhi Dynamos began the second half with renewed vigour, and created back-to-back chances through striker C. Remtluanga, who kept getting into dangerous positions inside the box. Remtluanga was left to rue his finishing on both occasions, as the youngster found himself in clear goalscoring positions only to squander the chance to draw level.

Having held fort at the back, Bengaluru came into their own once again, and pushed ahead in the final ten minutes and struck twice through Manbhakupar, who fired home a half volley from close range after DDFC ’keeper Ayush Jena’s clearance on Rahul Rajan’s cross fell in his path in the 83rd minute. Three minutes later he added a second number next to his name on the scoresheet, finishing off a move that was stitched together by Lalrinzuala and Lalrinfela.

Akashdeep then had a brace of his own, as he headed home Robin Yadav’s corner from the right three minutes into stoppage time to seal a well-deserved 4-0 win for BFC.

Bengaluru FC will now play SAI, Guwahati in their second game on January 29.