Edu, Chhetri On The Scoresheet As Roca’s Bengaluru Side Claim Three Points
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC began life in the Indian Super League with just the kind of style and authority the Blues have been commanding over the four years of their existence, beating Mumbai City FC 2-0 at a packed Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Sunday. Winger Edu Garcia scored the opener in the 66th minute when his left-footed strike left Amrinder Singh with no chance at all. Skipper Sunil Chhetri then slotted home later in the second half to seal a dominant win at the Fortress.
Roca started the Blues’ first ever ISL fixture with Chhetri, Udanta Singh and Miku in attack. John Johnson partnered Juanan Gonzalez in the heart of defence while Rahul Bheke and Harmanjot Khabra operated as wing-backs. Bengaluru’s three-man midfield comprised Erik Paartalu, Lenny Rodrigues and Edu Garcia as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu started in goal.
It did take a while in the coming, but as soon as the Blues front three hit the rhythm they were patiently building up towards, Mumbai City were in all sorts of trouble. Udanta combined with Miku and the Venezuelan floated in a cross that Chhetri skewed inches wide on the volley. The skipper then set up Udanta the very next minute who fired hard but off target.
Bengaluru’s best chance came in the 43rd minute when Chhetri set Udanta off on a run that left the Mumbai defence chasing shadows. But the wing man’s effort to pick Miku with a low cross was weak, allowing the visitors to scamper back in time as Alexandre Guimaraes’ side went into half time lucky not to concede.
The Blues weren’t letting the momentum shift as Garcia’s curled effort in the 62nd minute saw Amrinder fend the ball away before the Mumbai defence put the ball out for a corner. Roca introduced his first change of the evening soon after, replacing Paartalu with Spaniard Toni Dovale.
But it was Spaniard Garcia who would go on to grab a place in BFC history when he teamed up with Udanta in a well-worked training ground routine from a corner before firing low and hard with his left, beyond Amrinder to make it 1-0.
Buoyed by the goal they had worked all evening for, Bengaluru wanted more and Miku came close to giving the hosts a second in the 77th minute only for Amrinder to charge out and save well from a one-on-one situation. Udanta got a shot on the rebound but it was one that flew over.
The Blues kept the pressure on and finally got the second as Chhetri capitalized on a defensive gaffe to make it 2-0 in the second minute of injury time. A long ball from Gurpreet saw Mehrajuddin Wadoo get involved in a mix up with Amrinder Singh and the Blues’ number 11 controlled before slotting home to send the 17,796 crowd into raptures.
Bengaluru next face Delhi Dynamos at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, the 26th of November.