Vineeth’s trick leaves Mumbai in a daze

Striker Scores Club’s First Ever Hat-Trick As Bengaluru Storm To Top Of The Table With 3-0 Victory

Bengaluru: CK Vineeth scored the first hat-trick (45th, 57th and 65th) in the history of the club across all competitions as Bengaluru FC steamrolled past Mumbai FC 3-0 to claim top spot on the table in style at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday.

Last weekend’s super-sub Vineeth earned a place in the starting XI ahead of Daniel Lalhlimpuia while midfielder Cameron Watson, who missed the game against Chennai with a stomach bug, made the team in place of Mandar Rao Dessai. The other change was in the left-back position where Nishu Kumar started his first game of the season.

Bengaluru started with the same intensity as they did against Chennai, throwing numbers in attack. Nishu’s low cross after a fantastic run down the left was steered clear by the Mumbai defence before Vineeth had a big chance minutes later. Slipped in perfectly by skipper Sunil Chhetri, Vineeth chose to fire first-time with his left but skied the take instead.

But just when it looked like an encore of last weekend where the Blues returned to the dressing room with everything but a goal, Vineeth tapped home the lead in the first minute of added time. A livewire down the right for the hour that he was on the pitch, Udanta Singh put it through his marker’s legs in picking Watson. The Australian sent in a cross that beat everyone before Vineeth brought it down and tapped it past Laxmikant Kattimani to make it 1-0.

Refusing to take their foot of the pedal, Bengaluru started the second half with more purpose and were rewarded for the toil when Vineeth smashed home a perfect cross from Harmanjot Khabra to make it 2-0. But the wiry striker saved the best for the last with a finish that every striker would envy. Bringing down a fantastic ball from Khabra, Vineeth picked Kattimani’s far post as he hit the ball with perfection, becoming the first player to score a hat-trick for the club.

Sandesh Jhingan made his first appearance for the Blues, coming on for Khabra late in the second half. The defender almost contributed to Bengaluru’s fourth as his cross led to a goal-mouth scramble, but Kattimani was able to clear his lines.

Bengaluru next travel to Kolkata where they take on East Bengal in what will be a first away fixture of the season for Albert Roca’s side.

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