I-League 2017: East Bengal ride on Robin Singh's brace to thrash struggling Bengaluru FC
Robin Singh struck twice as East Bengal trounced hosts Bengaluru FC 3-1 in an ill-tempered match in the tenth round of Hero I-League at Sree Kanteerava Stadium
Bengaluru: Robin Singh struck twice as East Bengal trounced hosts Bengaluru FC 3-1 in an ill-tempered match in the tenth round of Hero I-League at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. In a span of five minutes between 54th to 59th minutes, ex-Bengaluru striker Singh netted a brace to take East Bengal to a 3-0 lead.
Wedson Ansleme had scored the other goal in the match which saw tempers flaring up in later part with Chhetri being booked for kicking Rafique and indulging in an argument with the referee and shoving him off thereafter.
Bengaluru, however, got one back into their kitty in the 84th minute, courtesy C K Vineeth on a low cross across from Udanta Singh running into the box, but it was far too late for the hosts to make a comeback.
Bengaluru tried to work an opening as the clock ticked away in East Bengal's favour in dying minutes.
The inform East Bengal broke the deadlock by taking 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Bukenya sent a ball from the back towards Anselme, who cut in and raced past Juanan to sent in a sensational left-footer into the far top corner.
The second goal was scored by Singh in the 54th minute after his downward header fooled goalkeeper Arindam and bounced into the net past Jhingan.
The third goal once again came from the foot of Singh who converted the ball from close range after Chris Payne, who could have gone for a goal himself, chested a brilliant pass into his path in the 59th minute.
The first half belonged to East Bengal as they had been wily, exposing the weaknesses in the hosts' defence whenever opportunities came their way.
Bengaluru were playing well from the back, but were woeful in their attacking game.
The defending Champions, who needed a much-needed win to bounce back into the reckoning this season, put up a very disappointing performance before the home crowd.
A win would have placed the team fourth in the points table. On the contrary, East Bengal maintained their number one position after putting up a killer show against Bengaluru.
In fourth minute, Bengaluru had their first chance after Lenny won the ball in midfield and played it to Udanta, whose cross was spilled by Rehenesh but before Vineeth could capitalise, Bukenya hacked it clear.
In the 18th minute, Udanta sketched a lovely run after he skillfully flicked the ball over his marker and got a clear run down the right wing but Bukenya marshalled him well.
Coronavirus restrictions led to Japan withdrawing from staging the tournament this December, and South Africa then abandoned a bid due to the need to get more of the country vaccinated. FIFA is now exploring staging the event in January or February.
Chhetri scored in the 62nd and 71st minutes after Manvir Singh had given India the lead in the 33rd minute in the must-win match for India
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