Blue Colts overcome Kickstart FC to qualify for National Group stage in RF Development League

Goals From Monirul And Satendra Give Defending Champions 2-1 Win At The BFS

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC sealed their place in the National Group Stage of the 2023 Reliance Foundation Development League, with a 2-1 win over Kickstart FC, at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. Monirul Molla (7’) and Satendra Singh (52’) got on the scoresheet to continue the Blue Colts’ unbeaten run and their stay atop the Southern Region standings. 

Ahead of the game, Head Coach Kaizad Ambapardiwala made two changes to the side from Sunday’s encounter against Chennaiyin FC, as Taorem Kelvin Singh and Robin Yadav made their way into the starting eleven, with the former making his first start in the RF Development League. 

The Blue Colts started brilliantly, scoring within seven minutes through Monirul Molla. Coming in from the left, Satendra skipped past his marker and played a cutback for the forward to score from and make it a hat-trick of Development League games that Monirul has scored in. 

The home side dominated the early knockings of the game, having the lion’s share of possession and reducing Thirunavukarasu Arumugam to few chances. But all that changed minutes shy of the half hour mark when Kickstart scored the equalizer through Finto. The midfielder got in behind the Blue Colts’ high backline and curled his shot past an onrushing Sharon to level the proceedings. 

An end-to-end encounter ensued as both teams went hammer and tongs to get their side in the lead. But neither team could add to their opening goal heading in at the break. 

Into the second period, Bengaluru came within a whisker of retaining the lead in the 50th minute, when Satendra, stationed just outside the box, chested down a cross from Robin and unleashed a sweetly-timed shot which ricocheted off the crossbar. But the forward was not to be denied a second time when he was first to a low cross by Monirul and tapped home to score his sixth goal of the campaign, in the 52nd minute. 

Into the final minutes of the game, Ambapardiwala brought on Ashik Adhikari, Akashdeep Singh and Harsh Patre to replace the frontline of Monirul, Satendra and Kelvin, in a bid to sustain his side’s lead. Bengaluru eventually saw their lead through to bag the three points which helped them become the first team from the Southern Region to make it to the National Group Stage. 

The Blue Colts will play Sreenidi Deccan in their final Zonal Phase game, at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Friday. 

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