Bengaluru FC begin National Group Stage with 2-1 win over LIFFA

Harpreet, Shighil On Target  As Blues Claim Three Points At The BFS

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC began their National Group Stage campaign in the RF Development League with a 2-1 win over LIFFA Trivandrum, at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. Harpreet Singh (6’) and Shighil NS (59’) got on the scoresheet to guide the Blue Colts to three points, despite a second-half penalty from Saivin Ericson (65’). 

Ahead of the game, Bengaluru Head Coach Kaizad Ambapardiwala named an eleven which featured five changes from the previous game against Sreenidi Deccan, as Bekey Oram, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Kamalesh Palanisamy, Clarence Fernandes and Monirul Molla returned. 

The Blue Colts took the lead within six minutes through Harpreet, after the defender swooped in at the near post to head home a cross from Bekey.

The duo combined once again and very nearly doubled Bengaluru’s lead when Harpreet got to Bekey’s cross from a corner, this time at the far post, before unleashing a thumping header which came crashing back into play off the crossbar. Ambapardiwala’s side dominated proceedings in the first half, creating more chances and keeping LIFFA goalkeeper Shikku S busy as they carried their lead through to the break. 

Into the second period, the home side continued having the lion’s share of possession and came close to doubling the lead when a cross from Lyngdoh was headed narrowly wide by Monirul in the 50th minute. Lyngdoh was in action once again a minute later, when his low cross was met by Satendra in the box, before the forward skied his attempt. 

But the Blue Colts would not be denied for long, as Shighil NS doubled their advantage before the hour mark with a stunning curling effort from outside the box that flew past the reach of Shikku, and into the top-left corner. 

Minutes after the Blue Colts’ second, LIFFA got a chance to get themselves back in the game after Ashik Adhikari was alleged to have handled the ball in the box, leading referee Mervin to point to the spot. Ericson stepped up and sent Sharon the wrong way to bury his penalty and reduce the deficit. 

Ambapardiwala made his intentions clear to keep his side in the driving seat by bringing on Thoi Singh and Taorem Kelvin Singh to replace Kamalesh and Monirul in the final 20 minutes. LIFFA nearly leveled the proceedings when Ericson’s freekick hit the crossbar with a quarter of an hour left on the clock. But that was the closest the visitors would come to nicking a point as the Blue Colts’ ensured no further threat from their opponents to start their National Group Stage on a winning note. 

Bengaluru will play Sreenidi Deccan in their next game on Tuesday, with kick-off scheduled for 7 AM at the Bangalore Football Stadium. 

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