Josh Walker’s first half penalty strike proved to be the winning goal as Bengaluru FC picked up their second win in the AFC Cup. Despite missing the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh, the Blues came up trumps with a 1-0 win over Warriors FC.
Bengaluru FC under early pressure
Realizing the strength of the Bengaluru defensive unit, shooting was the order of the day for the Warriors. With barely two minutes played, defender Marin Vidosevic came close to opening the scoring. His shot missed Bengaluru custodian Ralte’s goal by a few inches.
However, despite first blood drawn by the away side, the Blues conjured up attacks of their own. Shankar Sampingiraj and CK Vineeth, successfully created significant chances for the Blues. As a result, the home side earned their first corner with a third of the first half played. Josh Walker secured the best chance of the half but his curling shot was miraculously saved by Daniel Ong Sy Kae.
Josh Walker converts penalty
Eventually, as the game progressed, Westwood’s side succeeded in getting a foothold in this match. A lovely long ball coupled with some terrible defending saw CK Vineeth find himself slip through the Warriors defence. Daniel Bennet brought down the winger, only for the referee to point to the penalty spot. Josh Walker calmly walked up and tucked away his first AFC Cup goal with 34 minutes played.
The first half concluded with a yellow card for Curtis Osano, a few skirmishes at each end, and the score firmly in favor of the home side.
Both sides fail to make an impact in second half
The second half failed to maintain the levels of the first half for the 5000 odd fans present at the Kanteerava Stadium. Chasing the game, Warriros FC began attacking at a vicious pace. The Blues on the other hand absorbed the pressure and went on to even stamp their authority on the game by creating a few half chances.
The best chance of the half fell for Warriors’ striker Nico Velez. A lovely curling shot from the man from Warriors FC brought out the best in Ralte as the custodian pulled off a miraculous save.
A crescendo of chants from the BFC faithful chants catalogue concluded the encounter and left the Bengaluru faithful in a hapy mood. Josh Walker’s first half penalty strike would remain the decisive goal separating the two sides.
A slender win for the Blues. Generally fans and pundits alike forget the brilliant performance of the opposition players. Shi Jiyahi, Marin Vidosevic and Nico Velez were a few of the stand out performers in a losing cause.
That said, Ashley Westwood insisted that his side were not favourites in the post-match press conference apart from complimenting the likes of Josh Walker and Shankar Sampingiraj. But champion sides are determined by how they perform when they are under par and Ashley Westwood will be proud of the result today !