Miku starred as Bengaluru FC edged past Chennaiyin with a 1-0 win at the Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.
Bengaluru FC started the game in a 4-2-3-1 with new signings Albert Serran and Xisco Hernandez earning their Indian Super League (ISL) debuts.
The visitors lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with Jeje Lalpekhlua upfront. New signing Brazilian Eli Sabia partnered Mailson Alves in defence. Isaac Vanmalsawma filled in for the injured Dhanpal Ganesh.
The hosts started on the front foot, putting pressure on the Chennaiyin defence and came close to scoring through Erik Paartalu in the third minute. The Champions, however, soaked the pressure very well with Mailson leading the defence line.
The visitors mostly attacked on the counter and tried to exploit the flanks where the Blues looked vulnerable. Chennaiyin came close to going one up after Nelson and Jeje combined to create a one-on-one opportunity inside the box. The Mizo Sniper, much to the disbelief of the supporters, sent the ball wide.
Jeje failed to capitalize on the lapses in concentration from the Blues defence. At the other end, Udanta showed promise on the left flank but lacked end product. As the game went on, both the teams adopted a pragmatic approach and refused to take any risk by pushing men forward.
Miku broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with a terrific strike past Karanjit Singh. Xisco’s pass found the Venezuelan on the shoulder of the last defender and although the striker looked to be marginally offside, he latched onto the ball quickly and made his finish look easy.
The visitors started the second half with more possession and an intent to get the equaliser as soon as possible but failed to sustain the intensity. The first talking point of the second half came in the 57th minute when Jerry Lalzrinzuala brought down Udanta Singh and picked up a yellow for the team. Xisco, Udanta and Miku looked to weave their way past Chennaiyin defence in a move that eventually saw Chhetri shot blocked.
At the other end, the Champions had spells of meaningful possession but failed to create any threat in the final third. Inigo Calderon pushed higher up the pitch and most of Chennaiyin FC’s attacks were coming from the right.
The hosts turned the heat up in the second half and looked threatening on the counter. Despite enjoying more of the ball, Chennaiyin FC failed to test Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The result remained a fair reflection of the display from the teams involved.