Another Chhetri brace helped Bengaluru to a comfortable win over the reigning champions...Bengaluru FC enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Churchill Brothers in an I-League encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. A Robin Singh strike in the 61st minute was sandwiched between Sunil Chhetri’s brace (56’, 90).
The game began with a high tempo as both teams tried to take the initiative. The first chance of the game came as early as the second minute, as Balwant Singh looked to get in behind the Bengaluru defense only for the ball to be cleared by Rino Anto.
At the other end of the pitch, Chhetri unleashed a fierce drive from the edge of the box but keeper Arindam Bhattacharya was equal to the task as he tipped the ball over the crossbar to keep the scores level.
As the game progressed, it was Churchill who began to dominate possession. The Red Machines were very well organized against a Bengaluru side which boasted the likes of Chhetri and Sean Rooney in their ranks.
In the 19th minute, Balwant tried to set-up Bineesh Balan with a back-heel, but the Bengaluru defense read it well. Then in the 22nd minute, Beikhokhei Beingaiccho lofted a cross into the box and after fumbling initially, Arindam collected the ball.
Bengaluru’s best chance of the game when Rooney headed an Anto cross straight at the keeper in the 38th minute. Neither team could break the deadlock in the first half as the score remained 0-0.
The second half started with Bengaluru taking the initiative. It was the skipper Chhetri who opened the scoring as Robin Singh ran down the right flank and whipped in a dangerous ball.
Keeper Arindam managed to push the ball away, only for an onrushing Chhetri to slot the ball into the net.
Bengaluru went on to double the lead soon after in the 61st minute as Robin Singh controlled a Keegan Pereira lobbed through-ball and held off the Churchill defense to slot the ball into the bottom corner past Arindam.
Robin was in the thick of things once more as he ran down the left in the 73rd minute and put in another dangerous cross into the box which just about evaded the substitute CK Vineeth.
Two minutes later, Churchill had an opportunity as Pawan Kumar fumbled a ball and cleared it straight to Denzil Franco whose cross was deflected for a goal-kick.
Vineeth ran clear of the Churchill defense in the 77th minute. He squared it to Robin who could only fire his effort over the crossbar.
In the final minute of normal time, Chhetri added the third goal. Robin got behind the defense again and from a one-on-one situation with the keeper, saw his effort deflected into his skipper’s path who gladly tucked it away.
The game finished 3-0 in the hosts’ favour as they extend their lead at the top of the table.
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