Striker Grabs Brace After Vineeth Sets The Tone With First-Minute Opener; Blues Go Top Of The Table
Bengaluru FC 3 (Vineeth 1’ Kim 36’ 60’) Shillong Lajong 0
Bengaluru: Kim Song Yong struck his first two goals for the Blues before CK Vineeth gave Ashley Westwood’s side an opener within a minute of kick-off (36 seconds) as Bengaluru FC handed Shillong Lajong a 3-0 defeat at the Kanteerava Stadium to go top of the I-League table, in Bengaluru, on Sunday.
Playing their first home game of the season, Bengaluru FC showed how strong a side they are, bossing play from the get-go. Westwood rung in a few changes to the side that beat Aizawl last week and the play was seamless. Alwyn George was handed his first start for the club while Lalchhuanmawia started at left-back with Keegan Pereira making way.
The Bengaluru FC faithful were nowhere near the end of their traditional opening chorus of ‘oh when the Blues’ when Vineeth forced them to end abruptly, scoring a minute within kick off. Picking a long ball from the defence, Alwyn slid in Kim’s chest down for an onrushing Vineeth, who met the ball with a slide before side-footing the ball past Vishal Kaith and into the far corner.
Fleetingly, Lajong seemed to be up for a fight as Uilliams burst into the box in the 12th minute only to see Bengaluru FC’s Lalthuammawia Ralte get down in time and collect the ball. But whatever little Lajong tried to throw at the Blues was met with more than just stiff resistance from John Johnson and Curtis Osano, who won every duel – aerial or on the ground.
In the 35th minute, a flowing move initiated from the back saw Lyngdoh with only the keeper to beat. The midfielder sent a low effort towards goal but Lajong goalkeeper Vishal Kaith parried but managed to direct the ball straight into Kim’s path who made no mistake from five yards out and with the goal at his mercy.
The home side ended the half strongly, almost getting the third with John Johnson’s powerful header thundering back off the upright.
In the second half, Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood shook things up a bit, withdrawing Zuala and bringing Shankar in at the hour-mark. Just five minutes later, a wonderfully weighted through-ball from midfield saw Kim escape the attentions of Chinglensana Singh, sliding off the central defender’s shoulder and bearing down on goal. Even though the Lajong keeper was quick to come off his line, Kim seemed to have picked his spot as he sent a measured effort into the corner of the goal.
With less than ten minutes left on the clock, Kim came close, twice, that too within seconds, to getting what would have been the first ever hat-trick by a BFC player. Picked out on the right, the striker unleashed a rasping shot with the outside of his boot only to see it come off the post and fall to Lalchhuanmawia. The left-back then sent in a perfect cross only for Kim to see it flash across his face.
With the game pretty much sealed for the Blues, the home side were content to hold on to possession, executing it to perfection, bringing the curtains down on an impressive performance which propelled them to the top of the I-League standings with 9 points from three games. Westwood side next travels to Mumbai where they take on Mumbai FC on January 27.