Bhubaneswar, Feb 25 (IANS) Bengaluru FC extended their lead at the top of the points table with a 2-0 victory over Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash here on Sunday.
Venezuelan import Miku put Bengaluru ahead when he converted a penalty in the 23rd minute while Sunil Chhetri doubled the lead in the 34th minute.
Bengaluru now have 37 points from 17 matches, an eight-point lead over second placed FC Pune City. Jamshedpur are at the fourth spot with 26 points from 17 matches.
Bengaluru dealt a serious blow to Jamshedpur’s hopes of securing a play-off spot. The loss for Jamshedpur means the fate of the ISL debutants as well as FC Goa will now go all the way to the last game of the league to be played on March 4.
However, even that may not be enough for Sunday’s hosts to cling on to the fourth place as Goa have a game in hand.
Miku gave visitors the lead 23 minutes into the game from the penalty spot. After being put through on goal, the striker, who has been in top form this season, was brought down inside the penalty box by Jamshedpur FC goalkeeper Subrata Paul. He got up and calmly slotted the ball past Paul.
Stung by the goal, Jamshedpur FC tried to be a bit more ambitions but they were pegged back again around 10 minutes later.
Domimas Delgado’s corner from the right found Bengaluru captain Chettri who leapt over everyone to head the ball past Paul for the second time on the night.
Izu Azuka came close to reducing the deficit for the hosts in the 40th minute but his effort was tipped over the bar by Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh.
After the restart, the home side again came close to scoring a goal but they were again denied by a fantastic double save by Gurpreet Singh, who got down well to keep out Andre Bikey’s low effort and then he got up quickly to deny Jerry Mawihmingthangan from the rebound.
Even though Bengaluru FC dominated the possession, Jamshedpur FC had more efforts on goal. Coppell’s men had 21 shots at goal but it just wasn’t their night.
At the other end, Bengaluru could have further increased their lead had they been more clinical in front of the goal.
But that didn’t matter in the end, and any chances of a dramatic comeback for Jamshedpur FC were wiped off when Mehtab Hossain, who had come on as a substitute for Anas Edathodika in the second half, was sent off for a second yellow card in added time.