Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chhetri’s third consecutive brace inspires Bengaluru FC for third straight away win

AIFF Media

A third consecutive brace from India captain Sunil Chhetri inspired Bengaluru FC to a thrilling 3-2 win over Mohammedan Sporting in a round 14 clash of the Airtel I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. 

John Menyongar put Bengaluru in front in the first half but Mohammedan equalized through Josimar just before the interval. Chhetri restored Bengaluru’s lead at the start of the second period but Josimar soon restored parity to set up a thrilling final half hour. 

Chhetri ensured a fourth straight win for his club by bagging his second as the league leaders took their points tally to 27 from 13 matches while Mohammedan Sporting remain tenth with 13 points from 12 outings. 

Having been held to a hat trick of goalless draws at home, Mohammedan Sporting were desperate for three points and made an explosive start to the game with Nirmal Chettri nearly scoring from a Rakesh Masih corner. The home side also had a strong penalty appeal when Penn Orji was appeared to have brought down by Curtis Osano. 

Bengaluru weathered the early Mohammedan pressure and took the lead in the 21st minute when Menyongar scored after a cleverly worked corner. Beikhokhei Beingaichho played the flag kick short to Menyongar whose left-footer beat Ashok Singh at his near post. 

Despite going behind Mohammedan continued to create chances with Nirmal, Ashim Biswas and Josimar all going close. 

At the other end, Sean Rooney was guilty of wasting a golden opportunity and Mohammedan profited by equalizing in first half stoppage time through Josimar, whose weak attempt somehow beat Pawan Kumar in the Bengaluru goal.
Bengaluru made a bright start in the second period and went back in front from another innovative corner. Thoi Singh picked out Chhetri just outside the box and the India captain scored with a thunderous volley. 

It was end-to-end stuff after with Rooney and Chhetri nearly increasing Bengaluru’s advantage but it was Mohammedan who scored the next goal of the game. 

Penn set up substitute Syed Rahim Nabi, whose shot was saved by Pawan but Josimar found the back of the net from the rebound. 

Neither side was going to settle for a point in this game so both pushed for the next goal and it was Bengaluru who restored their lead and once again it was from a corner. 

Chhetri got away from his marker and scored past Ashok to take his tally to eight for the season, only one behind current top scorer Josimar, who has scored nine of Mohammedan’s 12 goals. 

The hosts created plenty of openings in the final stages with Penn in particular looking dangerous but they just couldn’t find the equaliser. 

Bengaluru held on despite the injury to their goalkeeper Pawan, who was replaced by Bruno Colaco.