Javi Hernandez Nets Twice As Blues Put On Clinical Show To Pick Three Crucial Points
Bengaluru FC snapped a four-game losing streak with a clinical performance that saw Simon Grayson’s men beat FC Goa 2-0 at the Fatorda, on Saturday. Goals in either half from Spaniard Javi Hernandez gave the Blues all points, and more importantly a massive injection of confidence that the side had so desperately needed.
Grayson, in a bid to shake things up, rang in a couple of changes. Defender Aleksander Jovanovic – who missed out on the last two games with an injury – was handed a start, while Prabir Das too made a return to the eleven that walked out. The Englishman pushed Naorem Roshan up in attack, with Namgyal Bhutia switching from right to left in defence.
Goa had the first big chance of the game – one which should have been flagged for an off-side but wasn’t. Noah Sadaoui, slipped through, had a shot on target only to see it come off Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s chest as the Bengaluru ’keeper stood tall and firm.
Bengaluru grabbed the lead when Roy Krishna pressed and dispossessed an indecisive Anwar Ali deep in Goa’s half, before picking Javi’s run with a gentle pass. The Spaniard slotted past Dheeraj Singh with a deft right foot at the first time of asking, to give the Blues a lead they would take into the break.
There was a big moment in added time of the first half when Goa should have had a man sent off, after Dheeraj charged out of his box and clattered into Krishna with the striker well on his way to get to the end of a long pass. However, referee Rowan Arumugham chose to simply caution the Goa ’keeper, much to the disbelief of the Bengaluru bench.
Javi made sure the decision didn’t have a bearing on the game when he scored his second on the night, just a little before the hour mark. Picking the ball deep into his own half from a Goa attack, Udanta Singh steamed down the middle before halting his run briefly and chipping the ball over the last line of orange shirts for Javi to meet. The Spaniard controlled the ball with a fantastic touch, calmly rounded off Dheeraj and rolled the ball into an empty goal to make it 2-0 to Bengaluru.
57′ IT’S THAT MAN AGAIN! 🔥— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) November 26, 2022
Udanta breaks free on the counter, holds the ball well and clips it over for @javih89 to bring down with an exquisite touch, roll past Dheeraj and slot home. 0-2. #FCGBFC #WeAreBFC pic.twitter.com/sx8R6qkJzl
Pegged back at home, the hosts began pushing for a way back into the game, and almost found it through Anwar Ali who had the sweetest of connections on a hit that was goal-bound. But Gurpreet turned up with a world-class save to deny Ali and Goa with his fingertips.
Just minutes before, Krishna had the chance to put the game to bed, lifting the ball over an onrushing Dheeraj, only to see it bounce wide by the finest of margins. The win moved Bengaluru up to eighth position on the table with seven points.
The Blues are back at the Kanteerava Stadium next, where they take on ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday, December 3rd.