Bengaluru FC moved to the top of the I League with a 3-1 win over Salgaocar. In spite of Darryl Duffy’s equaliser in the second half, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Curtis Osano put the result beyond Salgaocar. The win sees Ashley Westwood’s men on top of the I League table, ahead of Mohun Bagan by 3 points.
Westwood retains full strength playing XI
Ashley Westwood ensured a full strength playing XI in contrast to the side that lost to Persipura Jayapura. Rino Anto, however, was a notable exclusion and Shankar Sampingiraj was played at right full back instead.
Derrick Pereira too fielded a full strength squad that had Darryl Duffy and Douhou Pierre at the apex of attack.
Bengaluru FC begin strongly
Bengaluru FC, as they have done for the most part this season, began strongly. It was not long before the physicality came into play. While John Johnson and Curtis Osano played their part in defence, Sean Rooney was clearly the target man upfront. CK Vineeth and Sunil Chhetri too created a number of problems for Salgaocar.
Thoi Singh’s wonder puts Bengaluru ahead
Having dominated the bulk of the proceedings, Bengaluru FC eventually won their first corner. With the rain pouring down and the surface considerably greasy, Thoi Singh put BFC ahead. His wonder strike from outside the box saw the ball rocket past Karanjit Singh.
With a few chances for CK Vineeth and Sean Rooney, the first half came to a close with the scoreboard reading 1-0 in favour of Bengaluru FC.
Salgaocar strive for an equalizer; Duffy scores
The second half began with Salgaocar off the blocks within seconds. While the Greens from Goa were on the prowl, it seemed as though Ashley Westwood had parked the bus. Douhou Pierre forced two magnificent saves from Ralte, one from a wonderfully worked free-kick.
With 20 minutes to play, Darryl Duffy netted a goal that epitomized the Salgaocar efforts. A fantastic header from Duffy put the Greens back on level terms and Bengaluru title chances on the ropes.
Lyngdoh and Osano put result beyond Salgaocar
Barely 2 minutes following Duffy’s equalizer, Eugeneson Lyngdoh restored the lead back in Bengaluru FC’s favour. A comedy of errors and ricochets from the Salgaocar defence saw Lyngdoh tap in a rather easy finish. However, a couple of minutes after Lyngdoh’s goal, Curtis Osano put daylight between themselves and Salgaocar.
Thus, the last 15 minutes saw Westwood’s men park the bus once more as they cruised to a 3-1 win.
I League Crown: Bengaluru’s to lose
The 3-1 win sees Bengaluru FC ascend to the top of the I League table. Apart from that, the Blues also have a three point lead over second placed Mohun Bagan. Therefore, the I League is now Bengaluru’s to lose and by the looks of it Ashley Westwood and his band of merry men are in no mood to relinquish their title.