ISL 2018-19: Miku and Erik Paartalu on target as Bengaluru ease to a win against ATK
ISL
Komal Thatal put ATK in the lead but Bengaluru fought back to seal three points in Kolkata...

Bengaluru came back from behind to trump ATK 2-1 in their Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday. 

Komal Thatal (15') scored to put hosts in the lead but Miku's (45+3') stunning free-kick and Erik Paartalu's (47') neat finish from inside the box in the second half helped the Blues seal three points. 

Steve Coppell chose to stick to the starting XI that won 2-1 against Chennaiyin FC. Arindam Bhattacharya started under the sticks with Aiborlang Khonjee, Gerson Viera, John Johnson and Ricky Lallawmawma shielding him. Pronay Halder and Everton Santos slotted in at the centre of the park with Komal Thatal and Balwant Singh on the right and left flank respectively. Kalu Uche and Manuel Lanzarote had the onus of scoring the goals up front.

Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat also chose to stick to the same line up that battered FC Pune City 3-0. Gurpreet Sandhu had his gloves on with a back four comprising of Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Juan Gonzalez and Nishu Kumar. Harmanjot Khabra and Erik Paartalu started as holding midfielders with Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh on the wings. Dimas Delgado started as an attacking midfielder with Miku leading the attack. 

ATK Bengaluru FC Komal Thatal

It was a cagey start to the match as both teams were reluctant to take the initiative and go on the attack.  But it was an individual brilliance which saw ATK draw first blood on the 15th minute.

Santos produced a peach of a through ball which sliced open Bengaluru's defence. On the right flank, Thatal made a perfectly timed run to beat the offside trap and Nishu Kumar and then placed his shot to the bottom right corner from outside the box leaving Gurpreet with no chance. 

Bengaluru upped their ante in search of an equaliser and could have gone level if Miku had placed his header with more precision after latching onto a cross from the left by Kumar in the 21st minute. 

It was another piece of exquisite individual skill which led to Bengaluru's leveller in the first-half's injury time. Gerson fouled Miku at the edge of the box and the Venezuelan showed his class once again as he curled the resulting free-kick beyond the wall into the top corner. leaving Bhattacharya rooted to his spot.

ATK vs BFC ISL 2018-19

A brilliant start to the second half saw Erik Paartalu score his team's second. Dimas' set-piece was weakly headed clear by Ricky. Paartalu got hold of the loose ball and did not think twice before wrapping his laces around it.

Coppell rang in the changes in the second half to provide fresh impetus as Hitesh Sharma and Jayesh Rane were brought into action. 

The best chance for ATK came in the 81st minute when Gerson's header from a Lanzarote corner missed its target by a whisker. 

Bengaluru are now level with FC Goa on points but remain third on the table as the Gaurs boast of a better goal difference. The Blues will continue their journey on the road as they travel next to Kochi to face Kerala Blasters in a South Indian derby.

On the other hand, a lot remains to be done for Steve Coppell's ATK especially during set-pieces if they want to return to winning ways against FC Pune City on November 10.
 

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