A couple of wonderfully worked first half goals from Sean Rooney ensured that Bengaluru F.C continued their love affair with the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. A 3-1 win over Sporting Clube de Goa saw the Blues maintain their unbeaten run against teams from Goa in Goa.
1st Half: Sean Rooney Strikes Twice; Four Yellow Cards Shown
Realising that both sides desperately required a win, the Blues and the Flaming Oranje started the first half brightly. Victorino Ferandes’ chance early in the first half went a begging as the scores remained at 0-0. Bengaluru F.C’s physicality exposed the darker side of the game and referee Santosh Kumar was forced to go into his pocket and issue yellow cards to four of the players.
However, the brighter side of football prevailed once again. With 29 minutes played, Sean Rooney’s delicately guided curled shot found its way past Ravi Kumar. The big Australian forward would once again find his name on the score sheet. A beautifully converted free-kick on the cusp of half time from Rooney found a deflection on the way, giving Ravi Kumar absolutely no chance.
Bengaluru F.C went into the half time break with two goals to the good. More importantly for Ashley Westwood, Rooney had marked his comeback from injury with twin strikes.
2nd Half: Anthony Wolfe Pulls One Back
Matheus Costa’s pep talk at half time did the home side a world of good as the Flaming Oranje came out of the tunnel all guns blazing. However, as was the story in the first half, Sporting Goa had nothing to show for their impressive performance in the goals column. In a bid to protect Sean Rooney from further injury, BFC also made a change and Beikho Beingaichho came on in the second half for the striker.
A few minutes later, livewire playmaker Eugeneson Lyngdoh too was withdrawn and Siam Hanghal was brought on in his place. The move resulted in Sporting Goa having a superior physical presence in midfield. Courtesy of their midfield dominance, Anthony Wolfe found himself on a one on one situation with Bengaluru custodian Ralte. The Trinidad international’s chip over an advancing Ralte succeeded in reducing the deficit to a solitary goal.
Beikho Beingaichho Taps-in Winner
Following the Anthony Wolfe goal, the Flaming Oranje began attacking the Bengaluru goal with relentless pressure. Mateus Costa threw on the attack minded Beevan D’Mello and Pratesh Shirodkar in a bid to salvage a point. However, with 86 minutes played, a counter attack from Siam Hanghal succeeded in finding Robin Singh, whose right footed cross found Beikho, with the latter obliging with an impressive and composed tap-in.
There would be no further resurgence from Sporting Goa as they succumbed to a 3-1 home defeat.
The 3-1 win has moved the Blues to second position on the I League table. It remains to be seen whether this will be the launch pad for Bengaluru F.C’s title defense.