Bengaluru FC suffered their second defeat on the trot as the Blues now find themselves at the bottom of the table. However, the significance of the victory is that the Red and Gold brigade have extended their 100% record against the Blues. The Federation Cup success has well and truly been wiped out of the minds of the Bengaluru FC faithful following their dismal start to the I League campaign.
Chhetri Restored To Starting XI
Having been rested in the 3-1 loss at home to Pune F.C, Sunil Chhetri made his return to the starting XI. Left back Chhuantea Fanai was the unfortunate casualty to accommodate the Indian captain.
Armando Colaco chose to stick to a strong starting XI, with Leo Bertos and Baljit Sahni both taking their respective places in the attacking line-up of East Bengal. Despite the absence of Dudu Omagbemi, the East Bengal attack looked as formidable as ever.
Bengaluru FC Dominate First Half
With their captain back in the mix and the horrific display against Pune FC still vivid in their minds, the Blues got off to a dominant start. Josh Walker, who was the villain in the Pune game, successfully found his feet, therefore becoming the main orchestrator of the Bengaluru attacks.
In fact, the best chance for Ashley Westwood’s men came off the boots of Josh Walker, as the big Englishman’s delicate chip ensured that it took a full stretched Subhasish Roy Chowdhury to keep the effort out. A few more waves of attacks failed to break the deadlock as the Blues and a fuming Ashley Westwood disappeared into the tunnel for the half time break.
East Bengal Come Out All Guns Blazing
Having been relatively quiet throughout the first half, Leo Bertos and Ranti Martins came out clearly rejuvenated. Their pace and attacking intent took John Johnson and Curtis Osano by surprise. The East Bengal players used the element of surprise to their advantage, as winger Abinash Ruidas slotted the ball past Bengaluru custodian Ralte to give the Red and Gold brigade a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
Tempers Flare Up As Blues Miss Key Chances
As has been in all of their three matches in the I League in the current season, the tempers of Bengaluru players and the opposition players rose up in the second half. However, despite the ugly side of the game, the Blues created many a chance in the second half, with Robin Singh being the target. These chances went abegging as the Blues failed to convert their chances to goals, thus collapsing to their second defeat in a row.
Back to back defeats in the I League has seen Ashley Westwood’s men slip to the bottom of the table. Although early in the season, it is highly improbable that the Blues will retain their I League crown this season.
No one was more pleased than Armando Colaco as his side picked up their first victory of the season. However, Colaco will be hoping that Nigerian forward Dudu Omagbemi returns to full fitness in the coming weeks.