Sunday, January 17, 2016

Osano on target as Bengaluru win two in as many away games

 - AIFF Media
 - Bengaluru FC Media


The lethal header by Curtis Osano in 26th minute ensured Bengaluru FC leaving Aizawl with full three points. With this narrow win over the debutants Aizawl FC, the 2013-14 champions earned their second successive away win in as many outings in the Hero I-League 2015-16.

The eagerly awaited match between Aizawl FC and Bengaluru FC kicked off at 1 pm at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium ahead of a cheering crowd. It was one of the historic day in Mizoram football history as they hosted their first ever Hero I-League match.

Ashley Westwood made just one change to the starting XI that beat Salgaocar the week before, bringing in Udanta Singh for Malsawmzuala. And the nippy winger did enough to show what he’s capable of bringing to the table. Darting off on runs that the Aizawl defence had a tough time dealing with, Udanta earned the Blues a free-kick in the 26th minute – one that led to Bengaluru’s opener.

With Eugeneson Lyngdoh standing over the ball, a quick change in decision saw Keegan Pereira swing in the take instead when Osano capitalized on a fumble by former Blues ’keeper Soram Poirei, to stab home in the muddle and give Bengaluru a much needed lead.

In an opening exchange where neither of the sides managed to stitch anything meaningful and the football was everything but pleasing to the eye, local boy Lalthuammawia Ralte pulled off the save of the game when he flung himself and got his fingertips to a dangerous shot from David Lalrinmuana that was heading for goal.

The Blues needed a little bit of luck when, in the 33rd minute, an Aizawl attack ended up bouncing off the post and to safety as Bengaluru tried to wrest control of the game.

Westwood tweaked the formation a bit and introduced another local boy in Malsawmzuala who came on for Udanta at the start of the second half, in a bid to seize more control and enjoy the kind of possession that the Blues are otherwise used to. 

With 10 minutes left to play for, CK Vineeth had the best chance to close the game after being set up by Kim’s header only to inexplicably shoot wide from five yards out. Aizawl were keen to make the lifeline count and battled hard for a point but a gritty and composed show from Westwood’s boys denied the home side the fairytale ending they were chasing from the start.

Bengaluru next play at home at the Kanteerava Stadium when they take on Shillong Lajong on January 24.