I-LEAGUE Media Team
BANGALORE: Two quick strikes by the visitors in the first half and a later in the second half sealed the fate of the Round 2 game between Bengaluru FC (BFC) and Pune FC (PFC) on Saturday evening.
BFC gaffer Ashley Westwood pulled a surprise of sort by benching Captain Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh. Young left back Lalchhuanmawia was in the starting lineup. Also, central midfielder Joshua Walker made a comeback after sitting out the first match owing to injury.
PFC started with all foreigners including their newly inducted player from Portugal Edgar Marcelino.
The hosts made their first foray in the 5th minute from left by Keegan Perriera, and a few minutes later Thoi Singh’s long ranger missed the target. They forced 5 corners in the first half, but failed to take any advantage.
Montenegrin international Darko Nikač scored in the 9th minute – a calm finish to the right corner of net after beating an offside trap. PFC struck once again through central defender 25th minute Luciano Sobrosa.
It took no time for the BFC coach to bring Sunil Chhetri to the pitch replacing Keegan Perriera. The change impacted immediately with a couple of quick attacks.
A good build up from center by Walker could have got the host their first goal, a brilliant one-touch pass from Sean Rooney set the ball for Chhetri, but the PFC keeper was there at the right spot which prevented from scoring.
Post lemon break, BFC added power in their attack by bringing in Robin Singh for Beikhokhei.
The score line could have read 3-0 for PFC had Thongkhosiem Haokip not missed a sitter in the 53rd minute. It was a matter of 20-odd minutes, when the tall striker from North-East scored an opportunistic goal from all the hard work that Ishfaq Ahmed did in the center.
In the 88th minute, medio Eugenson Lyngdoh pulled one back for the hosts, after a ball in from Sean Rooney.
Hero of the Match : Amrinder Singh (Pune FC)