Bengaluru beat ATK Mohun Bagan, march into RF Development League final

Thoi Scores Screamer As Blue Colts Overcome Mariners In Penalty Shootout in National Championship Round

Mumbai: Bengaluru FC’s reserves continued their RF Development League run, defeating ATK Mohun Bagan’s reserves 7-6 in the penalty shootout after a 1-1 result in regulation time, at the Reliance Corporate Park, in Navi Mumbai, on Thursday. A second half stunner from Thoi Singh (60’) led the Blue Colts’ charge towards a spot in the summit clash of the competition. 

Earlier, Bengaluru FC B Head Coach Kaizad Ambapardiwala made one change to the eleven that started Monday’s game against Kerala Blasters, with Bekey Oram replacing Shreyas Ketkar in the starting lineup. ATK Mohun Bagan, meanwhile, went in with an unchanged eleven from their previous game against Shillong Lajong. 

The Blue Colts started strongly and created plenty of chances. Monirul Molla came close to putting Bengaluru in the lead, a flowing move from defence to attack saw Satendra Singh set Monirul up for a shot, but the forward could only drag his shot wide off target. A few minutes later, it was Bekey who came close to scoring, when the midfielder’s attempt went wide following a mazy run into the box by Thoi Singh before finding Bekey at the edge of the box. 

The visitors continued to dominate possession and the chances on the night, testing the resolve of ATK Mohun Bagan’s defence. But, neither side could provide the important finish in a first half that promised a lot more. 

Into the second period, Ambapardiwala’s side continued having more possession and made their dominance count at the hour mark when Thoi scored his eighth goal of the season to put Bengaluru in the lead. The winger beat two Mariners’ players and unleashed an unstoppable shot from 30 yards out which left goalkeeper Zahid Bukhari gaping as it nestled into the bottom corner. 

Just when it seemed like the Blue Colts might run away with the win, Josep Gibert’s side pulled one back through Engson Singh in the 87th minute to force the game to a penalty shootout. 

After both sides scored from their opening six spot kicks, Ketkar stepped up to net Bengaluru’s seventh before Sharon dived the right way to deny Tongsin and send Bengaluru into the final. 

The winner of Thursday night’s other semifinal between RF Young Champs and Sudeva Delhi will be the Blue Colts’ opponents for the final on Sunday. 

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