I-League: Chhetri guides Bengaluru to win over Salgaocar

Vasco da Gama (Goa), Jan 9 (IANS) Bengaluru FC got their I-League campaign off to a winning start as they went past hosts Salgaocar FC 2-1 in the first round clash at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here on Saturday.

C.K. Vineeth (5th minute) scored the opener while skipper Sunil Chhetri (61st) got the second for the side via sublime free-kick to ensure full points for the visitors.

Darryl Duffy (41st) scored via a penalty to be the only scorer for the hosts.

With this win, Bengaluru held on to their domination over Salgaocar, by beating them in all six meetings so far.

Salgaocar coach Malky Thomson went in with a 4-3-3 formation while Bengaluru FC’s Ashley Westwood preferred a 4-1-3-2 line-up for the tie.

Bengaluru dominated their opponents for most of the match as they were strong in defence and creative up front.

Just a few minutes into the game, Bengaluru launched their first attack with Vineeth on the ball. The team made it look easy as Kim Song Yong carried the ball on the right flank and put in an incisive cross for Vineeth to tap past goalkeeper Karanjit Singh and give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

From there on, Salgaocar managed to get a couple of chances but failed to turn them into fruitful results.

Just a few minutes before the break, the hosts were lucky enough to see Bengaluru’s Eugeneson Lyngdoh bring down Jackichand Singh in the penalty box, to allow the referee to award a spot kick in favour of the home side.

Duffy was not someone to miss the golden chance to equalise for Salgaocar.

Coming in to the second half, the home side showed aggression to get their second goal but the rock solid defence of Bengaluru denied them the chance.

Bengaluru scored for the second time in the 61st minute, via Sunil Chhetri’s free-kick. The India skipper produced an excellent dipping effort from 20 yards as goalie Karanjit was beaten all ends up.

From there on, it was a one-sided battle as Chhetri’s boys held on to register their first win of the season.

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