By I-League Media
BENGALURU: The Steelmen from the Garden City ascended strongly against the debutants Aizawl FC and garnered all three points at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium tonight, courtesy the strong header from CK Vineeth in the 48th minute of the game. Following the win, Bengaluru FC leapfrog Kingfisher East Bengal to the second spot with 18 points, 3 points shy of the leaders Mohun Bagan.
Today’s match was a promising advertisement for young footballers as Ashley Westwood and Jahar Das both opted to start with 3 U-22 players each and there were 6 other U-22 players on both dugouts.
Bengaluru FC Gaffer Ashley Westwood took a bold decision of fielding a young strike force and keeping off-color Kim Song-Yong on the bench. He handed a start to Len Doungel over the hardworking Medio Thoi Singh as well as Alwyn George. The prodigy Daniel Lalhimpuia replaced none but the skipper Sunil Chhetri just after the hour-mark.
Bengaluru FC could have gone ahead early in the 28th minute but Vineeth hit the side netting, having collected the through ball from Udanta Singh. A couple of saves from Aizawl FC keeper Zothanmawia kept Bengaluru FC at bay.
Amrinder Singh had a busy outing in the first 45 minutes and he thwarted the visitors who came very close to net the opener from the successive corners.
Apart from a few stray efforts by both the sides, neither of them could create any real danger and the match was evenly poised at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Post the lemon break, the spectators got to witness an end-to-end action. The Blues’ striker CK Vineeth failed to capitalize on a back-pass. Alfred Jaryan came too close for the visitors, however, failed to see the back of the net.
Just 3 minutes after the resumption, the Blues made it to the scoreboard from a precise free kick by Keegan Perriera which was neatly headed by Vineet, Zothanmawia couldn’t do much to stop him from scoring his 4th goal in the Hero I-League.
The visitors tried every possible option to find the equalizer of late but subsequently failed to go past the sturdy Bengaluru defense. Joel Sunday, who scored the opener the other day, was introduced later to increase the suavity in the attacking third but he came in a little help for the visitors.
The resilient wing-back Rino Anto was adjudged the Hero of the Match for his outstanding performance tonight.