Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bengaluru finish I-League campaign in style, takes fourth spot

AIFF Media
Bengaluru FC Media 

Bengaluru FC finished off their Hero I-League campaign defeating Churchill Brothers 3-0, their sixth win (including AFC Cup) in as many matches. The result ensured they ended their campaign with 30 points from 18 matches at the 4th spot in the League table.

Churchill, on the other hand, finished with 20 points from 18 matches, their position in the table to be decided on the morrow.

Keeping an eye on the forthcoming Hero Federation Cup which kicks-off on May 7, BFC Coach Albert Roca preferred to rest a number of his star players. Goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte was handed his first I-League game with the Blues fielding just one foreigner — defender Juanan pairing up with Sandesh Jhingan in Central defence.

With the starting eleven boasting of five U-22 players, the hosts surged into the lead as early as the 5thminute – former AIFF Academy product Gursimrat Singh swaying an inch-perfect cross from the right flank for another former AIFF Academy product Daniel Lalhlimpuia to tap it in.

A minute before conceding the goal, Churchill, however, had bagged the first corner of the match which they failed to capitalise.

The visitors missed an easy chance to equalise a few minutes later when Anthony D’souza despite finding himself in a 1v1 with Goalkeeper Ralte failed to make the most of it.

Meanwhile, some silky touches from the talented Udanta Singh puzzled Churchill defence. And it was the slippery Manipuri who doubled the lead in the 35th minute.

Grabbing a through pass, he cut in past the onrushing rival keeper Naveen Kumar, controlled it, and slotted it home as BFC headed to the interval with a two-goal cushion.

Changing over, Churchill brought in striker Kromah, in an effort to add more thrust to attack. Both Kromah and his captain Anton Wolfe raided Bengaluru with solo efforts but an alert Bengaluru defence wasn’t to be broken.

The final goal for the Blues came in the 84th minute – winger Mandar Rao Dessai curling it in off a pass from Salam Ranjan Singh.

Mandar was adjudged the Hero of the Match.

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