Bengaluru FC puts three past FC Pune City to climb to the top
Ever since their introduction in the Indian Super League, former AFC Cup runners-up Bengaluru FC has looked miles ahead of the nine other teams in the tournament. Such was their dominance in the first season that 3 points are expected every time they step on the pitch, and they did their reputation no harm on Monday (22 October) against a reeling FC Pune City side.
Bengaluru FC was coming from a 2-2 draw against Jamshedpur FC, while their opponents lost their last game. The visitors kept most of the possession at the start, but Pune’s trusted goal-machine Emiliano Alfaro found himself in a great position inside the penalty box but couldn’t reach the lucrative cross from the left wing.
Miku missed a 1v1 chance a few minutes later to make it even-stevens amongst the talismanic strikers. What transpired in the next half an hour or so contained heated debates and commendable efforts, but it was devoid of a real chance barring Marcelinho’s stunning freekick.
That chance came to the visitors’ skipper Sunil Chhetri around the 40th minute of the match when he found himself free inside the box and a goalmouth gaping. The scoreboard handlers were preparing to add 1 beside Bengaluru FC’s name, but Chettri failed to meet the target, quite surprisingly so.
However, all great players miss easy chances, but they know how to redeem themselves. Pune City FC players were catching a breath after that massive chance and Chhetri spotted a gap between Matt Mills and Sarthak Golui. A pin-point ball from Bengaluru’s half and a calm finish from the Indian skipper found the visitors leading in the game – all in the blink of an eye.
A similar defensive error was committed a few minutes later and this time it was Miku who was in control of the ball. But the Venezuelan unselfishly passed the ball to Chhetri, who then made Golui and goalkeeper Vishal Kaith look like schoolboys.
The game was almost settled in half-time with Pune not looking intimidating enough to make a comeback, but a slight possibility of a miracle was there. That possibility was lost completely when Miku, who was enjoying his skipper’s exploits thus far, decided to join the party and get his second goal of the season.
Diego Carlos’ introduction boosted Pune’s attack but that was not enough to salvage a point. All Carlos could do was hit the post with a bullet of a shot. But things were not all too calm for Bengaluru FC’s defenders with Alfaro and Marcelinho lurking around, but after a fantastic display for his national team, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu again impressed the Indian head coach Stephen Constantine, who came to spot some future talents, with some great saves.
FC Pune City will now face FC Goa in Goa. With the quality attackers FC Goa possess, Pune must work hard to fill out their leaky defense. On the contrary, Bengaluru FC will face ATK, a side that is not doing too well in this season but has got some great names in their ranks, which includes former Bengaluru FC player Eugeneson Lyngdoh.