A late strike from Rahul Raju, his second in as many games, was enough to see Bengaluru FC’s Reserves past FC Goa in their second encounter of the Reliance Foundation Development League, at the Nagoa Ground, in Goa, on Tuesday. Bekey Oram (10’) opened the scoring for Bengaluru before Brison Fernandes (17’) levelled things up, only for Rahul to score the winner four minutes from time.
Earlier, Moosa rang in two changes to the side that took on Reliance Foundation Young Champs in the opener as Rahul and Fanai Lalremtluanga made their way into the eleven, replacing an injured Thoi Singh and Lalthangliana.
Only ten minutes in, the Blue Colts managed to knit together a neat piece of play down the flank as Rahul and Sivasakthi Narayanan played a quick give-and-go. Sivasakthi’s eventual pass into the box was met by an oncoming Bekey, who managed to finish with aplomb past a hapless Hrithik Tiwari in the Goa goal.
Deggie Cardozo’s side pulled level on the 17-minute mark when Brison pulled the trigger from distance. Blue Colts’ custodian Sharon Padattil managed to get his fingertips to the effort, but it had too much on it and managed to evade his grasp to make it all square heading into the break.
An evenly matched encounter seemed destined to end in a draw, but for the Blue Colts’ resilience in the final quarter of an hour. Sivasakthi and Lalthangliana had chances that found the finish wanting, but Bengaluru continued to push for the winner, battling humid conditions in Goa.
Into the final five minutes of the game, Sivasakthi switched flanks to find substitute winger Emboklang Nongkhlaw, who drove into the box and drove a shot goalward that Tiwari could only parry into the path of Rahul, who finished with ease.
Bengaluru face Hyderabad FC in their next clash of the RF Development League, on April 24th.