Bengaluru FC saw off a better second half performance from Mohammedan Sporting to claim all three points and remain on top of the I-League table.Bengaluru FC secured all three points at home to Mohammedan Sporting in a 2-1 victory in an I-League fourth round encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The hosts were in control from the begining. In the 4th minute, Sean Rooney burst down the right flank, cut back onto his left foot and crossed to the far post where Malemngamba Meetei controlled the delivery but could only shoot straight at the keeper.
Thoi Singh threatened down the right wing on numerous occasions in the game and won a corner kick for Bengaluru in the 11th minute. The home side's imposing center-back John Johnson was on hand yet again to power his header in from the corner, breaking the deadlock and registering his third goal in the opening four games of the season.
Mohammedan Sporting couldn't create any clear-cut chances while Bengaluru continued to make inroads down the right flank. In the 28th minute, another attack down that side provided a cross for Rooney whose soft header had just enough on it to find the corner of the net as the hosts went 2-0 up.
Just after the half-hour mark, the visitors finally had a golden opportunity to get on the score sheet. Penn Orji's cross from the right eventually fell to Josimar Martins but from a mere 12 yards from goal and with no pressure on him, the big number 9 could only roll a tame effort into Pavan Kumar's grateful arms.
Four minutes from half-time, Tolgay Ozbey was clean through but Kumar was very quick to come off his line and smothered the ball just before the Australian could latch on to it. That bit of keeping meant that Bengaluru went into the break leading 2-0.
Five minutes into the second half, a whipped cross from Ozbey was directed well for Josimar but Johnson was alert to the danger and went in hard to block the striker's header. Nine minutes later, Bengaluru were on the attack again as Beikhokhei Beingaichho almost got on the end of a throughball before the defender blocked him off. The loose ball however, fell to Rooney in the box but his left footed strike went well over.
Rooney had another chance in the 69th minute as he had only the last man to beat. The striker cut inside the defender and shot with his left foot but his attempt was well saved by Sukhwinder Singh in the Mohammedan goal.
In the 77th minute, Ozbey shimmied past a defender on the right hand side of the box and forced the keeper to turn his shot around the post for a corner from which his side were able to pull a goal back. Josimar was the man who leapt above everyone else in the box to head in emphatically and give Sporting a life-line.
However, the visitors failed to create more opportunities to find an equalizer. Instead, substitute Robin Singh threatened on three different occasions. First, a left-footed shot from range in the 80th minute went straight to the keeper before he fought his way past two defenders in the following attack and shot from a difficult angle only for Sukhwinder to collect.
Three minutes later, the towering striker came close again as his shot blazed just over the bar. Half-time substitute Sunil Chhetri cut inside from the left before dragging his shot just wide of the near post with two minutes to play.
The final whistle blew and Bengaluru FC claimed all three points which maintained their position at the summit of the I-League table.
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