Pune, April 24: Bengaluru FC were successfully able to complete collecting all 6 points from their visit to Pune after beating both the city based teams - Pune FC and Bharat FC - in back-to-back 2-0 wins at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune.
The visitors started the game with an unchanged lineup; the returning Robin Singh handed a boost to their already formidable attack, albeit having to settle for a position on the bench. On the other hand, the home team, marred with injuries and suspensions, had to field a side with as many as five changes. Skipper Gouramangi Singh, first choice keeper Arindam Bhattacharya and defender Dharmaraj Ravanan missed the game owing to suspensions. Kris Bright and Mehrajuddin Wadoo were out nursing injuries.
Dominant Bengaluru FC take first half lead
The keeper was brought into action twice in the opening 5 minutes. The first, when CK Vineeth lashed a shot straight into his arms. He did enough to save it but the clearance fell straight into Sean Rooney’s path whose tame shot went wide. Moments later, Bobby Hassell misjudged the flight of the lobbed ball and missed it completely. The custodian was alert enough to rush out of his line and push the ball to safety.
The hosts were quick to respond. Vignesh Gunashekhar distributed the ball to Boco who ran onto Lalchhuanmania and with quick footwork beat him to create some space for a shot. The resulting shot from his weaker left foot flew just over the bar.
Meanwhile, Bobby Hassell was clearly struggling to hold his fort. The Englishman, who was the makeshift centre-back, was guilty of losing possession in key areas on a couple of occasions. His attempted backpass fell kindly into Rooney’s path, whose cheeky lob almost appeared to be falling into CK Vineeth’s path only for Jarun to make a diving clearance for a corner.
The visitor’s drew first blood in the 29th minute, when Surajit Bose lost the ball in a dangerous area. Bengaluru were quick to pounce on the opportunity. Sean Rooney rolled the ball into Eugenson Lyngdoh’s path who, from the edge of the box, curled one past the flying custodian.
The home side did enjoy a fair bit of possession throughout the half without fruition.
Clinical Bengaluru FC outplay struggling Bharat FC
The visitors doubled their lead in the 55th minute courtesy a CK Vineeth strike. A lobbed ball from the half way line found Sean Rooney in plenty of space. He made a run towards the goal drawing Bobby Hassell towards him. With only Omar Jarun manning two attackers, Rooney cut back to Eugenson who tapped it out towards Vineeth. With the keeper rushing out to narrow down the shooting angle, he cleverly cut back inside beating the keeper and calmly slotted the ball at the back of the net.
The visitors could easily added another right towards the end when Sunil Chhetri’s low strike was acrobatically saved by Shahinlal Meloli.
The Bharat FC squad, with a few new names, was visibly short on match fitness and lacked co-ordination, which cost them the match.
The win propelled the visitors on level terms with leaders Mohun Bagan at 28 points in the I-League table. Even though the Bengal side have two games in hand and a slightly superior goal difference, they have little margin for error with Bengaluru FC hot at their heels – unlike earlier when they looked like runaway leaders. Bharat FC find themselves struggling on 10th position with just 12 points in their kitty.Published 24 Apr 2015, 22:10 IST