A brilliant match which had both Sunil Chhetri and Josimar scoring braces ended in a narrow Bengaluru FC win but was marred by contentious referring and crowd trouble..
John Menyongar opened the scoring for the visitors in the 21st minute before Josimar equalized in first half injury time. Sunil Chhetri scored three minutes after the restart before Josimar pulled his side level again in the 57th minute. Chhetri then popped up with the winner in the 71st minute to earn three points for his team.
Aziz Moshood started with Josimar as the lone striker upfront while Penn Orji was deployed behind him. Ashim Biswas played on the right flank while Ishfaq Ahmed played down the left. Meanwhile, Tolgay Ozbey did not even find a place in the bench.
The league leaders began with the trio of Sunil Chhetri, Sean Rooney and Beikhokhei Beingachho upfront in a 4-3-3 formation with the central defensive pairing of John Johnson and Curtis Osano intact.
It was the home side who started brighter as a Rakesh Masih free-kick towards the far post in the tenth minute was headed wide by an unmarked Nirmal Chhetri.
Just two minutes later, Mohammedan could have been awarded a penalty after Penn was on his way courtesy of a Ashim Biswas through ball. The Nigerian was then clumsily bundled over by Curtis Osano who didn't seem to get the ball at all but the referee waved play on.
In a classic sucker punch, Mohammedan conceded a goal against the run of play. In a neatly taken short corner by Beikhokhei, Menyongar turned to his favoured left foot before unleashing a low drive which beat Ashok Singh on his near side, in the 21st minute.
Mohammedan pressed on for the equaliser with two successive chances just before the half-hour mark. First it was a Rakesh Masih corner which was flicked onto the path of Nirmal Chettri whose side footed effort went wide. Then it was Ishfaq Ahmed and Nirmal Chettri combining on the right before the latter's delivery into the box was headed just over by Josimar.
Sean Rooney should have extended his side's advantage in the 37th minute after Rino Anto had found him with a perfectly weighted ball only for the striker to hesistate before shooting and then slashing it wide.
Pawan Kumar pulled off a shocker when the goalkeeper made a mess of a regulation clearance in injury time of the first half. A long ball from Colin Abranches was toe poked by Josimar and Pawan let it slip from his grasp, into the empty net.
Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood was furious as he thought Sunil Chhetri was blocked off by Ashim Biswas in the buildup to this move, which the referee overlooked.
Rooney missed another chance almost at the stroke of half time after Chhetri had played him through, as he shot straight to Ashok Singh in goal.
Three minutes into the second half, Bengaluru FC regained the lead through a Sunil Chhetri stunner. It was a training ground routine as Beikhokhei from the corner found Chhetri on the edge of his box who took a touch before effortlessly volleying it, finding the back of the net with the Mohammedan backline stunned.
Rooney made it a hat-trick of misses just two minutes later when he was on his way after showing Luciano Sobrosa a clean pair of heels. With only Ashok Singh to beat, he failed to find the target as his shot was wide of the far post.
It took Mohammedan nine minutes to equalise once again as Josimar completed his brace in the 57th minute. Penn Orji drove down the right wing before finding Syed Rahim Nabi who had overlapped into the box. Pawan Kumar parried Nabi's first time shot but failed to prevent the Brazilian from poking it in, on the rebound.
In the 71st minute, it was Ashok Singh's time to commit a blunder as another Beikhokhei corner was missed completely by the keeper who flapped at it, allowing Sunil Chhetri to head it towards the empty net. Colin Abranches' acrobatic clearance was to no avail as the referee had deemed the ball to have crossed the line.
Mohammedan Sporting had a flurry of chances after the 80th minute. First it was Ishfaq Ahmed whose weak shot was held easily by Pawan Kumar, after being played through by Penn Orji. In the 85th minute it was Penn again who sent a ball across the goalmouth which was attacked by both Ishfaq and Samson, only for the latter to head it wide from point blank range.
Controversy struck again in the 86th minute when Josimar's effort was allegedly blocked by Curtis Osano with his hands, with Pawan Kumar picking up an injury in the process.
Two minutes later, Mohammedan were furious again when Samson went down into the box under Osano's challenge only for the referee to book him for simulation. This was after substitute keeper, Bruno Colaco had spilled a regulation cross onto Samson's path.
There were ugly scenes in the stands as the Black and White fans had decided that they had seen enough as they uprooted the plastic seats and flung them towards the ground besides bottles and bricks.
With police cordoning off the ground, Bengaluru FC managed to survive the Mohammedan onsluaght and went away with three more points on the trot.
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