ISL 2017-18: Bengaluru FC make a strong debut as Sunil Chhetri fires them to win over Mumbai City FC
Bengaluru FC had a satisfying ISL debut as they beat Mumbai City FC 2-0 in their opening encounter with Spaniard Eduardo Martin Garcia and skipper Sunil Chhetri being on target.
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC had a satisfying Indian Super League (ISL) debut as they beat Mumbai City FC 2-0 in their opening encounter with Spaniard Eduardo Martin Garcia and skipper Sunil Chhetri being on target.
Edu scored in the 67th minute off a set-piece movement while Chhetri cashed in on a defensive blunder from Mehrajuddin Wadoo in the third minute of stoppage time to get full points for the 'Blues' in what was their first ever appearance in the cash-rich league.
After a barren first half, it was former Zaragoza B team player Edu, who broke the deadlock. After playing a one-two with Udanta Singh off a corner, he took a left-footer as Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was beaten at the near post.
Chhetri, who was shown a yellow card in the second half for play acting in order to get a penalty, finally got his name on the scoresheet during the dying moments.
Chasing a long ball, Chhetri put pressure on stopper Mehrajuddin, whose miscommunication with a surging Amrinder saw the Indian captain latch onto the free ball before slotting it home with precision.
Chhetri was awarded Man of the match for his brilliant performance as he was a livewire upfront.
Bengaluru FC coach Alberto Roca deployed the traditional 4-4-2 format with Chhetri and Fedor upfront.
The home team dominated the proceedings by making several attempts at the goal but Amrinder kept the sheet clean during the first 45 minutes.
Udanta spurned an oppurtunity in the 43rd minute as he crossed the ball instead of aiming at an open goal after Chhetri picked up the pacy Udanta on wide right.
The cross was intercepted by Marcio Nascimento Rozario much to the relief of Amrinder.
Although BFC played agressively, their centre backs Juanan Gonzalez and John Johnson flanked by side backs Harmanjyot Khabra and Rahul Bheke performed admirably.
In the 23rd minute, Fedor sent a cross from right flank but Chhetri's volley was off the mark.
The shots of Chhetri and Lenny Rodrigues, in 27th and 29th minutes also went haywire.
In 41st minute, Fedor once again shot straight at the goalkeeper after Chhetri won the ball in midfield and freed him in the attacking third.
The 28-year-old is the club's sixth signing of the summer, and joins the side ahead of their AFC Cup playoff clash against Eagles FC.
The former East Bengal winger, a product of United Punjab FC, moves on a free transfer and joins the Blues ahead of their upcoming AFC Cup playoff stage clash against Eagles FC.
The AFC confirmed that the playoff and group stage (South) matches of the second-tier continental club competition will be held in the Maldives.