Bengaluru taste first victory as Chennaiyin fail to score again
Bengaluru: Goals by captain Sunil Chhetri, Erik Paartalu and Semboi Haokip helped Bengaluru FC register tier first win of the Indian Premier League (ISL) season against Chennaiyin FC who failed to score yet again.
The 3-0 victory elevated Bengaluru up to fifth spot with six points from four games while Chennaiyin remained rock bottom with a solitary point and a goal difference of -7.
The hosts started the game on a high pressing the visitors and taking advantage of their pacey Indian wingers Udanta Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan. Deployed in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Suni Chhetri led the line for Bengaluru and he was well supported by Raphael Augusto in the number 10 role.
Deployed in a 4-4-2 formation, Chennaiyin struggled to cope with the pressure and could not create any meaningful chance in the entire first half.
Bengaluru’s efforts were rewarded in the 14th minute from a corner. Dimas Delgado whipped the ball in from the left and Erik Paartalu leaped high between two defenders and headed it past Chennaiyin keeper Vishal Kaith.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 25th minute through captain fantastic Sunil Chhetri. Raphael Augusto sent in an excellent aerial through ball from inside his own half to Chhetri on the right. Chettri beat his defender and smashed in a thunderbolt with his right foot from the edge of the box first time. The shot gave no chance to Chennaiyin keeper Vishal Kaith who was well beaten at his near post.
The second half started just like the first with Bengaluru on the attack. But Chennaiyin soon got a foothold in the match and started to create some chances. They made better use of the set pieces and corners trying to claw their way back into the game.
The visitors brought Lallianzuala Chhangte in place of Rahim Ali to try and find a way past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the Bengaluru goal. But the hosts were happy to absorb the pressure and hit the visitors on the counter.
Bengaluru looked more likely to score again as Chennaiyin had very few opportunities. Chennaiyin’s best effort in the match came in the 83rd minute. Dhanpal Ganesh's shot came off the post and it pretty much summed up the day for the visitors.
It was 3-0 in the 84th minute as Semboi Haokip chased down a ball over the top. Eli Sabia tried to out muscle him and let the ball roll through to keeper Vishal Kaith. But the striker managed to evade the defender, slide in and direct the ball past the keeper.
It should have been 4-0 three minutes later as Chhetri missed from close range after being well set up by Dimas. But the Bengalurians wouldn’t mind as they have a much needed victory to celebrate.
ISL will resume after the international break on November 23 with Bengaluru hosting Kerala Blasters. The defending champions could be finding their form at the right time.