John Johnson's header was enough to see Bengaluru past United SC in what was a closely contested encounter.Bengaluru FC beat United Sports Club 1-0 at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon in an I-League third round fixture. John Johnson's header early on in the game was enough to separate the two sides.
United SC started brightly in the first couple of minutes and after moving the ball around well from kick-off, a long ball over the Bengaluru defense found Ranti Martins with only the keeper to beat but the whistle was soon blown for offside.
However, when the hosts ventured forward for the first time, they made it count. Who else but John Johnson put them ahead in the 4th minute. The defender rose highest in a crowded penalty box to head in a corner and claim his second goal of the season.
In the 17th minute, the visitors came close to an equalizer from a free-kick about 35 yards from goal. Eric Brown unleashed a ferocious pile-driver but Pawan Kumar made a brilliant save by tipping it over for a corner. United came close again from the resulting corner but Kumar was up to the task again.
In the 27th minute, Chhetri crossed well from the left but the onrushing Darren Caldeira couldn't make a good connection as the ball arrived at an awkward height and it went out for a goal-kick.
Rooney's shot was fumbled by Sangram Mukherjee after being put through by Chhetri. The keeper however managed to block Chhetri’s attempt on the rebound.
Mukherjee’s clearance came off Chhetri’s head after the striker closed him down. The United SC custodian recovered in time to avert the danger as the home side went into the break with a slender 1-0 advantage.
Bengaluru FC had a couple of chances to add to the score-line at the start of the second half. In the 46th minute, Chhetri couldn’t direct his header towards the goal and in the very next attack, Sean Rooney made no connection from six yards out after Keegan Pereira did well to find the Australian with a pin-point cross from the left.
Ranti Martins also had a chance when he cut in onto his right foot but his shot blazed over the cross bar. The home side had another opportunity to double their lead from a set-piece which saw Johnson head it over the bar in the 70th minute.
United SC’s frustrations were apparent when their coach Eelco Schattorie was given his marching orders after exchanging a heated argument with referee Vishnu Chauhan.
The visitors pushed forward in search of a late equalizer in the dying moments but were unable to find the finishing touch. The game ended in a 1-0 victory for Bengaluru FC.