Bengaluru overcome Chennaiyin FC with gritty 1-0 win in RF Development League 

First Half Strike From Monirul Helps Blues To Three Points At BFS 

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC continued their unbeaten run in the 2023 Reliance Foundation Development League, with a 1-0 win against Chennaiyin FC, at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Sunday. A first-half strike from Monirul Molla (25’) was enough for Kaizad Ambapardiwala’s side to claim three points in the first game of the Southern Region progression phase. 

Ahead of the game, Ambapardiwala made five changes to the side that faced the same opposition last week, with Clarence Fernandes, Damaitphang Lyngdoh and Thoi Singh returning to the squad. Monirul Molla and Satendra Singh, who came off the bench to score the goals in Bengaluru’s 2-1 win over Chennaiyin last week, also started the game in place of Harmanpreet Singh and Tomthinganba Sanjembam. 

The home side started brightly and took the lead just before the half-hour mark through Monirul. Bekey Oram picked out the forward’s run with a through ball before Monirul outmuscled his marker and calmly scored past Chennaiyin goalkeeper Mohanraj for his second goal in as many games against the Junior Machans in the League.

The Blue Colts were the dominant side in the first half and carried their lead into the break with sturdy defending to deny their opponents a sniff on goal in the first 45 minutes. 

Into the second period, Cleofas Alex’s side nearly equalized in the 56th minute, when Aqib Nawab’s attempted cross looped over Sharon Padattil and came back into play off the crossbar before being cleared by the Bengaluru backline. The visitors sensed their chance to equalize, with a good phase of possession in the second half, and looked to cash in by switching personnel, with Sharon S being brought in past the hour mark to replace Vivek. 

Bengaluru held onto their lead despite a late surge in Chennaiyin’s attempts to find an equalizer. The Blue Colts remain top of the standings in the Southern Region and will face Kickstart FC, at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Wednesday. 

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