Bengaluru FC won their first three points on the road as they edged past NorthEast United FC 1-0 in Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Friday evening with a goal from Miku. The win takes the Bangalore Blues to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table with nine points, enjoying a better goal difference than Chennaiyin FC who are also on the same number of points.
Joao de Deus opted to name an unchanged line-up from their previous win over Delhi Dynamos with Danilo Lopez leading the line.
Lalthuammawia Ralte made his way back into the starting eleven in place of the suspended Gurpreet Sandhu while Subhashish Bose was handed his first start as a left-back. Dimas Delgado recovered in time from an ankle injury suffered in the pre-season and named in the first eleven.
The home side looked the more comfortable of the two teams and it was Marcinho who had the first shot on target in the sixth minute with Ralte diving to his right to make the save.
Miku soon got involved in the thick of the action and his right-footed drive missed the far corner only by a couple of inches. Chhetri too had a chance to put the visitors into the lead but his tame shot was easily kept out by Rehenesh.
Although Bengaluru saw more of the ball, it was NorthEast United who looked threatening with every attacking move.
Danilo had the best chance of the first half in the 40th minute when his shot from the right saw Ralte’s diving save keep the score-line 0-0.
Marcinho too had an effort from range which missed the target by not much.
It took less than two minutes for Bengaluru to put their noses ahead. A back-pass from Nirmal Chettri saw Rehenesh’s kick straight to Udanta after being put under pressure by Miku. Udanta played it for the Venezuelan striker who only had to slot the ball into the right corner as Rehenesh was left stranded in between the sticks.
Chhetri could have doubled the lead before the hour mark when he got into a one-on-one situation however, Rehenesh did well to come off his line and clear his lines.
With NorthEast throwing players forward in search of an equaliser, Roca decided to shore his rearguard as he took Chhetri and Garcia off for Lenny Rodrigues and Juanan.
In the 83rd minute, the visitors had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 with Nobrega as his shot was blocked by Reagan before being set up by Dimas.
Gursimrat sent a cross in the 90th minute for Sambinha who chest it forwarded for Lopes. However, the striker unfortunately struck his shot straight at Ralte, much to the disappointment of the home fans as Bengaluru survived a late scare to pick up three points.