Bengaluru FC had to bank on substitutes Roby Norales (77') and Chekiyot Vineeth (79') to bag all three points against Chennai City FC in I-League 2017's first South Indian derby as the champions kept pace with title-rivals Mohun Bagan at the top of the table.
Albert Roca decided to give Mandar Rao Dessai his first start of the campaign as Cameron Watson was rested after his opening day exertions against Shillong Lajong.
For the visitors, Brazilian striker Marcos Tank made the starting XI for the first time on Indian soil and was deployed on the left side of attack.
Early into game, Chennai City custodian Karanjit Singh had to avert danger as Lenny Rodrigues’ long ball was played by Sunil Chhetri and Denson Devadas almost turned it into his own net.
Though Bengaluru FC had the lion’s share of possession in the first-half, they squandered countless opportunities despite being up against an inexperienced Chennai defence.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia was a disappointment and as was Udanta Singh, scorer of a brace in the last game. Sunil Chhetri was a shadow of his former self as only Eugeneson Lyngdoh showed some form with his near-perfect set-pieces.
Long balls were the order of the evening as both teams only managed to frustrate their coaches along with the spectators.
Marcos Tank gave something to cheer for the visitors, albeit in the form of some trickery down the left channel, but was overpowered by John Johnson quickly.
Bengaluru manager Roca had to change things about as his side looked wasteful again after the restart. Honduran forward Roby Norales was brought on near the hour mark to provide some sort of spark even though he was yet to feature in a full training session with the club.
Sena Ralte and Udanta Singh made some good runs but were not able to apply themselves in front of goal and find a killer pass or finish.
Roca had to throw in another striker in the form of CK Vineeth as Bengaluru went into the last 15 minutes with four recognised attackers on the pitch.
The strategy came to fruition as John Johnson won a free-kick in the 77th minute and Roby Norales slotted it home, beating the wall with ease.
Two minutes later, super-sub CK Vineeth turned up the heat by doubling Bengaluru's advantage. Udanta Singh’s cross was met by the Keralite and Karanjit could do little to stop Vineeth from smashing home a volley from close range.
That goal signalled the end Chennai City's hopes of coming away with anything from the Kanteerava as Bengaluru raced to six points, edging out Mohun Bagan at the summit in lieu of a better goal difference.