Ashley Westwood's side claimed full points from their away fixture in Kolkata to edge closer to their maiden title...
Bengaluru FC punished United Sports Club 3-1 in a round 21 I-League fixture at the Kalyani Football Stadium, Kolkata on Thursday afternoon. Thoi Singh put the visitors ahead just before the end of the first half which was soon cancelled out by Eric Brown’s penalty. An own goal by Dhanachandra Singh and a 90th minute strike by Sunil Chhetri put the game to bed.
Jayanta Paul, Jayanta Sen and Tapan Maity were the inclusions in the starting eleven for United SC in place of Sangram Mukherjee, Mohammed Asif and Anupam Sarkar.
Ashley Westwood made just one change from the last game as he handed Robin Singh a rare start in place of Beikhokhei Beingaichho.
The game didn’t have the best of starts as neither side could maneuver a clear-cut chance. Robin Singh limped off midway in the first session and was replaced by Beikhokhei with Rooney moving into the number nine role.It was in the 37thminute that first chance of the game was created. Rooney got the ball on the left and did well to get the better of Deepak Mondal and shoot which was just about kept out by Jayanta Paul.
The very next minute saw Chhetri being brought down inside the box by Bello Rasaq but the referee chose to ignore calls for a penalty from the visitors.
In the 44th minute, John Menyongar found Chhetri who in turn passed it to Rooney. The Australian’s delicate chip inside the box was met by Thoi Singh’s head to put them 1-0 ahead.
Eight minutes into the second half as United SC managed to claw their way back. Rasaq sent in a long ball into the box which saw Keegan Pereira bring down Souvik Chakraborty. Pawan Kumar was beaten this time as Eric Brown calmly slotted the ball to his left to restore parity.
However Bengaluru did re-gain the lead soon after as Rino Anto’s cross from the right saw Rooney’s header take a deflection off Dhanachandra Singh to make it 2-1.
Thereafter Rooney had another chance to score his second. He latched on to a poor pass by Dhanachandra and saw his shot being saved by the United SC custodian. The ball fell for Chhetri on the rebound and his goal bound effort was blocked by Rasaq on the goal-line before Beikhokhei sent the ball into the orbit.
At the other end, Brown’s free-kick saw Dhanachandra head it inside the six yard box but Waheed Adekunle missed a sitter, much to the disappointment of the supporters assembled.
In the final ten minutes, Bengaluru had the upper hand as Dhanachandra did well to rob Chhetri of the ball after he was set-up by Vineeth CK.
However in the 90th minute, Dhanachandra was at fault again as he took far too long to clear the ball which allowed Chhetri to pick the pieces and score the third goal for his side.
Bengaluru FC have now opened a seven point gap at the top though they have played a game more than immediate rivals in Pune FC and Salgaocar FC. United SC have not won a game in their last ten I-League fixtures and need to buck up soon if they want to avoid the drop.
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