10-man Bengaluru FC blank ATK 2-0
Kolkata, Feb 3 (PTI) Bengaluru FC reigned supreme despite being reduced to 10 players as they blanked two-time champions ATK 2-0 to consolidate their lead in the Indian Super League.
This was fourth win in a row after winning an AFC Cup game during the mid-week, as they went four points clear of Chennaiyin FC atop the standings.
Two-time champions ATK succumbed to a fourth defeat in a row, for the first time in four seasons as they are virtually out of playoff race with 12 points from 13 matches.
As fate would have it, ATK captain Jordi Figueras put Bengaluru FC ahead with an own goal in the third minute in what seemed like a superb striker's finish, but only into their net.
The home side played the last 30 minutes with a numerical advantage but their poor finishing continued to haunt them before Venezuelan Miku sealed the three points with a calm finish in the 83rd minute.
Erik Paartalu set it up for Miku who almost ran from the half-line racing past Figueras who finally gave up as he knocked the ball past ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder with utmost calmness, and composure.
Bengaluru FC were down to 10 players after Rahul Bheke fouled Keegan Pereira with a nasty challenge as referee sent off the defender with a second yellow card in the 75th minute but it did not help the cause.
Jayesh Rane had sloppy finishing as he missed scoring opportunities despite getting open net at least a couple of times (57th and 68th minutes.
ATK had the better share of possession at halftime but luck continued to elude the two-time champions.
In the 33rd minute, Rane's header came off the far post while five minutes later a long range strike by Ryan Taylor was denied by a fine save from Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh.
It could have been 3-0 in favour of Bengaluru FC but a fine goalline save by Ashutosh Mehta in the 72nd minute saved them further embarrassment