A first half brace from the Bengaluru's captain earned them another three points at home.Bengaluru FC beat Shillong Lajong 2-1 in a 12th round I-League encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Sunil Chhetri bagged a brace with strikes in the 7th and 34th minute before Boithang Haokip's 81st minute free-kick halved the deficit for the away side.
Bengaluru manager Ashley Westwood fielded the same starting eleven that earned them their first victory away from home in their last outing against Salgaocar. Meanwhile, Thangboi Singto made just one change to his side with Wailadmi Passah coming into the defense in place of Samuel Shadap.
The game started at a high tempo and both sides tried to gain the upper hand. In the 7th minute, Robin Singh played in Sunil Chhetri and the skipper calmly slotted the ball past Vinay Singh and into the far corner to give the homeside the lead.
In the 20th minute, Chhetri nearly scored his and Bengaluru's second of the game. Beikhokhei Beingaichho did well to send in a cross for the striker to attack but his header crashed off the post. The winger was then came close from a header of his own seven minutes later as his effort from a Rino Anto delivery went narrowly wide.
However, Milan Singh then fouled Chhetri inside the area and the referee was quick to award a penalty to Bengaluru. The Indian captain dusted himself off in time to step up and convert the penalty to give the hosts a two-goal cushion with 34 minutes on the clock.
Chances were few and far between in the second half. Boithang Haokip had an attempt from range six
minutes after the restart following some good work by Cornell Glen but his effort was straight at Pawan Kumar in the Bengaluru goal.
Ten minutes later, Robin Singh nearly latched onto a through ball from John Menyongar but the keeper was quick off his line and collected the pass in time. Haokip had another go for the away side in the 70th minute but his shot from distance blazed past the goal to safety.
In the 81st minute however, the midfielder finally saw one of his his efforts find the back of the net. He whipped in a gem of a free-kick to pull Lajong back into the game at 2-1. There was no dramatic revival on the cards though as Bengaluru held on to secure all three points.
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