Bengaluru FC Media
Shillong Lajong 3 (Uilliams-46', Glenn-82', 90'+3' [P]) Bengaluru FC 0
Bengaluru FC’s title charge suffered a blip as the League leaders went down to 3-0 to Shillong Lajong in a game that saw the visitors have two men sent off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Shillong, on Sunday. A brace by Cornell Glenn after Lajong’s Brazilian striker Uilliams’ opener in the 46th minute consigned Bengaluru to their second successive defeat in the north-eastern city within a month.
The loss meant Bengaluru now have a three-point lead over second-placed Salgaocar who were held to a 0-0 draw by United SC in Goa, on Saturday.
Ashley Westwood chose to start with Beikhokhei Beingaichho on the right while Vishal Kumar started in the right-back position with Rino Anto playing in the suspended Keegan Pereira’s position at left-back. Bengaluru made light of the chilly weather and the heavy rains that had preceded it by seizing control of the game in the first half. John Menyongar could have opened the scoring against his former club but his rasping shot that took a little off a defender, came off the post before bouncing out. Only minutes later, Sean Rooney found himself with a nice chance after a Bengaluru move down the left, but his strike was off target.
While Bengaluru looked comfortable in the first half, the second half began on a woeful note when Uilliams slipped between John Johnson and Vishal Kumar to tap home Glenn’s cross from the right.
Bengaluru had plenty of time to regroup and hunt for an equalizer but kept falling short when it came to finishing. Skipper Sunil Chhetri was guilty of shooting straight at the ’keeper from close – a chance he would have finished on most days. Having set up the first, Glenn went on to score himself after he hung on to a through ball and finished perfectly in the 82nd minute. While the goal almost certainly killed the game, Bengaluru FC suffered a big setback when ’keeper Pawan Kumar was sent off for handling the ball outside the box the very next minute.
The loss leaves Bengaluru on 37 points from 20 games.