THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Bengaluru make statement with 3-0 win over Islanders

Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL)

Bengaluru FC began the second half of their Indian Super League campaign with a 3-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the JN Stadium, in Fatorda, on Monday. Goals from Danish Farooq (8’) and Prince Ibara (23’, 45+5’) gave Marco Pezzaiuoli’s Blues a commanding first-half lead that they would see out until the final whistle.

Earlier, Pezzaiuoli rang in two changes to the team that took on SC East Bengal as Danish Farooq and Pratik Chaudhari started ahead of Jayesh Rane and Parag Shrivas. The Islanders were without influential Moroccan midfielder Ahmed Jahouh who sat the game out having picked up his fourth yellow card of the campaign.

The hosts began on the front foot as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pulled saves from an Ygor Catatau header and a shot from Bipin Singh before Bengaluru took charge of proceedings. Only nine minutes in, the Blues had the lead when Farooq slotted home from outside the area after Mourtada Fall’s tackle dispossessed Cleiton Silva.

Continuing to push forward from both sides, Bengaluru doubled their lead soon after when Naorem Roshan Singh, operating down the right flank, cut in and whipped a cross into the box for Prince Ibara to nod home from close range past Phurba Lachenpa in the Mumbai goal.

Pezzaiuoli’s side pushed forward and saw efforts from Bruno Ramires, Silva and Udanta Singh come close before Roshan and Ibara combined to add a third. Into added time in the first half, Roshan’s corner was aimed at the Congolese striker, who thumped home his second and Bengaluru’s third in what was the last action of the half.

Des Buckingham made three changes at the break as Igor Angulo, Raynier Fernandes and Amey Ranawade replaced Vinit Rai, Ygor Catatau and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy. Pezzaiuoli’s men continued to dominate proceedings, and saw opportunities from Silva and Ramires come close to adding to their tally.

City had chances of their own through Lalengmawia, whose effort came crashing back into play off the upright. Gurpreet was called into action twice in the second period when Cassio Gabriel and Angulo took shots from within the box that were parried away. Buckingham then made two more changes as Gurkirat Singh replaced Bipin Singh and Mandar Rao Dessai came on in place of Mohammed Rakip. Bengaluru withdrew Prince Ibara for Sunil Chhetri, and later sent on Iman Basafa and Ajith Kumar in place of Udanta and Roshan.

Mumbai made forays into the final third, but the Bengaluru defence held tight at the back to keep their second clean sheet of the campaign. The Blues next face ATK Mohun Bagan at the same venue on Saturday, January 15th.