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ISL 2019-20: Sunil Chhetri opens account as brilliant Bengaluru down Chennaiyin

7:55 PM GMT+4 10/11/2019
Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin
Bengaluru scored three goals to register their first win of the season...

A dominant performance helped Bengaluru FC register their first win of the sixth season of Indian Super League against Chennaiyin FC on Sunday at the Kanteerava Stadium. 

Erik Paartalu (14'), who made his first start for the club this season after recovering from an injury, scored the opening goal. Sunil Chhetri (25') scored a sublime second and Thongkhosiem Haokip (84') added a third off the bench, 

Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu made his first appearance of the season after missing the first three games due to an injury. Ashique Kuruniyan received his much-awaited start in Bengaluru’s front-line with Sunil Chhetri shifting to the striker’s spot in place on Manuel Onwu.

John Gregory brought in Andrei Schembri and handed teenager Rahim Ali his first start for Chennaiyin.

The hosts dominated the opening few minutes and the game was mostly played in Chennaiyin’s half. Bengaluru knocked the door several times through set-pieces, Rahul Bheke’s long throws and Dimas Delgado’s sublime through-balls.

Eventually, they broke the deadlock in the 14th minute through a routine set-piece goal that saw an unmarked Paartalu head home Dimas’ corner.

The early goal did slow the hosts down as the defending champions went on to create a couple of goal-scoring chances before doubling their lead just nine minutes later.

Former Chennaiyin midfielder Raphael Augusto played Chhetri through with an incredible pass over the top and the Bengaluru skipper took a touch inside the box and beat Vishal Kaith at his near post to open his account for the season.

The visitors did well to react positively to the poor first-half performance by showing more intent in the opening stages of the second half. Edwin Vanspaul pulled the trigger from distance in the 50th minute in what was Chennaiyin’s first real chance of the game. But it soared above Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and grazed the top of the net.

Bengaluru mostly played on the counter in the second half but they did create enough danger for Kaith to stay on his toes at all times.

The fragile Chennaiyin defence succumbed for the third time when Thongkhosiem Haokip netted his first goal of the season after being played through by Paartalu. Eli Sabia was the villain this time as he failed to shield the substitute and allowed him to squeeze the ball through Kaith’s legs from inside the box.