Chhetri, Silva Score In Comeback Win As Blues Extend Unbeaten Run To Nine Games
Bengaluru FC turned on the style in an impressive second half to beat Jamshedpur FC 3-1 and move into third place in the Hero Indian Super League, on Saturday. Down a goal inside the first minute, the Blues clawed their way back through Sunil Chhetri (55’), before Brazilian Cleiton Silva showed up with a brace (62’, 90+4’) at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. The win was Bengaluru’s third on the spin, as Marco Pezzaiuoli’s side extended their impressive unbeaten run to nine games.
Bengaluru had the worst possible start to the game when the defence allowed Daniel Chukwu to power through after he picked up a pass from Boris Thangjam, and scored beyond Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from close, with the clock still a few seconds short of the minute mark.
The Blues had a big chance in the closing stages of the first half when Naorem Roshan Singh curled in his take from a corner perfectly. But an unmarked Sunil Chhetri fell inches short with his attempted header as Jamshedpur took their lead to the dressing room at the break.
Earlier, Marco Pezzaiuoli made two changes to the team that beat Kerala Blasters last week, bringing in Cleiton Silva for a suspended Prince Ibara, while Alan Costa started in place of Wungngayam Muirang in the centre of defence.
The Blues came out in the second half needing a response and found one ten minutes after when Chhetri tapped in an all-time record-equalling goal to make it 1-1. A long throw in from Parag Shrivas was flicked by Pratik Chaudhari and came off Bruno Ramires before it fell to Chhetri, who calmly put the ball in the back of the net.
Spurred by the equaliser, Bengaluru went on to grab the lead only minutes later, once again from a set-piece. This time, it was Silva who got his head to a corner swung in by Roshan as the ball took a deflection off Jitendra Singh before getting past TP Rehenesh in goal, to make it 2-1 to Bengaluru.
Jamshedpur came very close to grabbing an equaliser of their own in the 80th minute when Greg Stewart – put through – clipped the ball over Gurpreet, only for Parag to clear off the line. Bengaluru introduced Muirang, Rohit Kumar and Sivasakthi Narayanan in the closing stages to see out the ninety minutes.
Ambling with possession in their attempt to seal the points, Bengaluru scored a third when Silva squeezed his way into the box from the corner and rifled an effort into the roof of the net past Rehenesh to make it 3-1 deep into added time.
Bengaluru next play League-leaders Hyderabad FC on Friday, February 11, at the same venue.