Haokip, Bekey Strike As Bengaluru Set Up Kerala Blasters Clash In Final-Four
Kolkata: Bengaluru FC worked hard to keep their one hundred percent record in the competition intact as they beat FC Madras 2-0 to seal a semifinal spot in the final phase of the Hero Junior League at the Kalyani Stadium in Kolkata, on Saturday.
In what was a closely fought affair, the Blue Colts had to wait till the final ten minutes of the game to break the rival defense as striker Sonmingthang Haokip (83’) and medio Bekey Oram (90+2’) netted in Bengaluru FC’s eleventh straight win in the competition. It was also a third straight victory in the final phase as Ajay Chorge’s boys finished atop Group D with 9 points qualifying for the semifinal.
While the first half did see a dominant performance from Bengaluru, it was Haokip and Manish Chaudhry who went agonizingly close to opening the scoring for BFC. However, both attackers fell short of finding the back of the net as Madras, who mostly stayed back, breathed a sigh of relief.
Bengaluru FC finally broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute when Haokip burst through a host of defenders in the rival half before making his solo effort count with a sublime finish.
The Blue Colts kept pushing forward and then got their second of the evening in the second minute of injury time. Defender Rakesh Meitei’s long ranger was spilled by FC Madras custodian Muhammed Adil allowing Bekey to capitalize and slot home from close to seal a third straight win in the final phase.
Bengaluru FC will now play ISL rivals Kerala Blasters in the big semifinal at the Kalyani Stadium on May 27.