Shillong, March 1 (IANS) Newly appointed head coach Hering Shangpliang got off to a winning start with Rangdajied United as it edged past Bengaluru FC 3-2 in an I-League football encounter at the Polo Ground here Saturday.
Shangpliang made two changes to the team that had gone down by a couple of goals at Dempo with Yohei Iwasaki and David Ngaite giving way to Kim Song Yong and Ranti Martins, who made his debut for the club.
Rangdajied started off on a bright note with Martins’ cross into the box almost being met by Kim with Bengaluru custodian Pawan Kumar coming to his side’s rescue.
Steven Dias put Rangdajied up front with a well-taken shot six minutes later, sending the fans into raptures. The goal pumped up the home team and they kept piling on the pressure.
Martins had a go at the goal (25th minute) but his shot failed to trouble Pawan. Moments later, Kim’s header off a corner went agonisingly wide. Rangdajied were again on the attack and Dias’ accurate cross was headed home by forward Lalnunpuia.
The goal seemed to deflate the visitors and they failed to create any significant chances for the next few minutes. Rangdajied, meanwhile, continued their attack but failed to get past the Bengaluru goalkeeper going into the break.
The second half resumed with Bengaluru looking like a different side. The game opened up as both sides played with attacking intent and Kim’s long-range effort went just over as the scores remained at 2-0 (58th).
At the other end, Bengaluru skipper Sunil Chhetri made a brilliant finish from outside the box, reducing the deficit by a goal. The visitors then equalised just a minute later courtesy Sean Rooney, as the home fans were stunned into silence.
Rooney’s goal was responded by some brilliant football by Rangdajied. The hosts’ relentless assault at the Bengaluru goal paid dividends when Martins scored (76th) off a rebound after Kim’s shot was parried away by Pawan.
The hosts slowed things down after the goal and didn’t allow the visitors to trouble them in the last few minutes. Martins, meanwhile, almost doubled his tally when his shot ricocheted off the goal post in the last minute of stoppage time.
Rangdajied held on for the last few seconds, ensuring that they picked up three points against the league leaders.
Despite the win, Rangdajied remain bottom of the table with 15 points from 17 games and will next face United SC at home March 9.