The Southerners registered three crucial points on Sunday to extend the gap at the top to four points...
Riding on Thoi Singh and Sean Rooney’s goals, Bengaluru FC won 2-0 against Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata in a round 24 I-League clash on Sunday. This win takes them on 41 points with another two rounds to go while The Mariners are placed tenth on the table.Karim Bencherifa made two changes from the team that cruised to a win against Sporting clube de Goa, bringing in Kingshuk Debnath and Denson Devadas for Bikramjit Singh and Shouvik Ghosh.
Ashley Westwood too made two changes as he drafted in Rino Anto down the right for Gurtej Singh and also replaced goalkeeper Poirei Anganba with Pawan Kumar.
Mohun Bagan started the game well as Odafa Okolie should have tested the goal keeper as early as in the sixth minute when Katsumi Yusa played a lovely ball towards him bisecting the central defense only to see Odafa taking too much time on the ball.
With Mohun Bagan's gameplan recolving around finding Odafa at every oppotunity, Katsumi's intelligent runs down the left seemed to go unnoticed. Odafa meanwhile wasted at least a couple of chances himself as he failed to break through Curtis Osano and John Johnson in defense.
Katsumi did have an opportunity to pick out a pass himself in the 23rd minute but made a hash of it as John Johnson easily cleared.
Two minutes before the half hour mark, the away side had a decent chance as John Menyongar was played in by Keegan Pereira from a freekick who placed a perfect ball for Robin Singh to strike, only to see the Indian International put it wide.
Bengaluru had two half chances in the 31st and 33rd minute which they failed to convert. Sunil Chhetri was the architect on both occasions. First he layed it off to Siam Hangal on a plate only to see him lash it wide before setting up Robin Singh with a quick throw in but Robin's angled shot which he hit first time did not test the goalkeeper.
The ten minutes before the half wound up was filled with controversy galore as tackles and cards went flying in culminating in Ashley Westwood being sent to the stands for continuous dissent.
However it was Westwood who had the last laugh as his side stormed into the lead with only a minute to go. Sean Rooney found space on the right and pinged a ball into the box. Thoi Singh stuck in between the central defenders with a late run into the box and succeeded in squeezing out a header which beat Shilton Paul.
Bengaluru were gifted a goal around the hour mark when Sandip Nandy in his hurried effort of restarting play managed to kick it straight to Sean Rooney at about 25 yards from goal. The Australian's precise volley beat him at his near post.
Westwood's boys might have heaped more misery on the Kolkata side in the 70th minute as Thoi Singh's perfect pass was somehow headed over by Robin Singh from point blank range.
Robin Singh's bad luck in front of goal was not over yet. Sunil Chhetri broke down the left with Bengaluru having Robin and Thoi both making runs with only Echezona Anyichie covering. The India skipper picked out Robin with a great pass who just had Nandy to beat but he hit it straight to the goalkeeper.
Five minutes from time, Yusa broke from midfield but had no one else in front to pass to. His shot which took a meaty deflection off John Johnson could have just sneaked into goal and had Pawan Kumar visibly worried.
A minute from time Odafa finally managed to test the goalkeeper with a venomous drive from outside the box but Pawan saw it all the way and parried it in front of him before picking it up himself.
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