Ranti Martins' debut couldn't have been better as he ended up scoring the match winner against the table toppers in Shillong...By Arjun Namboothiri with Nabarun Goswami at the stadium
Hering Shangpliang's first match in-charge ended in a 3-2 victory against the table toppers as Rangdajied United claimed three points at home to Bengaluru FC in an I-League encounter on Saturday.
The hosts were inspired by a brilliant Ranti Martins in attack who scored the match winner in the 76th minute after goals from Steven Dias (15') and T Lalnunpuia (31') were cancelled out by strikes from Sunil Chhetri (60') and Sean Rooney (61').
Bengaluru FC made two changes to the team with Keegan Pereira and S. Siam Hanghal giving way for Lalrozama Fanai and most importantly for the Blues, Chhetri returned from suspension.
Rangdajied welcomed their new recruit Ranti Martins to the line-up together with Kim Yong. David Ngaihte and Yohei Iwasakai were the two men replaced.
The hosts started the brighter of the two teams with Steven Dias whipping in a cross inside the box which Pawan Kumar did well to hold on to.
Martins made his presence felt right from the start with a fierce shot saved by Pawan again. The rebound fell to Kim who failed to score from close range as the Bengaluru defense looked nervy.
Rangdajied however, made full use of their attacking start, drawing first blood when Dias' shot from outside the box beat a diving Pawan Kumar in goal leaving the league leaders rattled in the 15th minute of the first half.
Martins was all over the Bengaluru defense as he shot just wide moments later with a host of defenders marking the Nigerian striker.
Bengaluru finally found their feet when Robin Singh got a chance but his shot from just outside the box missed the goal by a whisker.
Half an hour into the first period, Rangdajied doubled their lead when Lalnunpuia headed a brilliant ball by Steven Dias from the right flank to claim a two-goal cushion.
Sunil Chhetri's free-kick failed to trouble the rival custodian towards the end of the first half which saw Bengaluru struggle to control possession in the game.
Rangdajied got off to a flying start in the second half when Steven Dias, who was a live wire on the right wing, fired a shot which was saved by the keeper at full stretch.
Bengaluru were unlucky when John Menyonger beautifully set-up the birthday boy Sean Rooney whose tap-in hit the post from what looked like the easiest of opportunities.
Fortunes changed for the team in blue when the clock struck the hour mark as Sunil Chhetri pulled one back with a brilliant finish with his left foot from just outside the penalty box. Rangdajied were shell-shocked as Bengaluru then levelled the score in the next minute as Robin Singh flicked the ball to Sean Rooney on the right who did well this time to find the back of the net.
Martins displayed his poaching abilities ten minutes after Rooney’s goal. Kim Yong's header was saved by Pawan Kumar and Martins put away the rebound to send the crowd into ruptures.
At full-time, Rangdajied had earned three vital points to take them level with Churchill Brothers with 15 points while Bengaluru missed an opportunity to extend their lead at the summit.
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