INDIAN FOOTBALL : I-LEAGUE 2014-15 REPORT
I-LEAGUE 2014-15 : Bengaluru FC beat Bharat FC 2-0 in away to level with Mohun Bagan's 28 points.
24.04.2015 : BHARAT FC -- 0-2
BEN : Eugeneson Lyngdoh 29', Vineetth CK 56'
BFC : Sahinlal, Bikramjit, Jaarun, Hassell, Boco, Kottayil, Gunashekar, Dias, Singam, Surojit, Dipendu.
BEN : Ralte, Curtis, Johnson, Walker, Rino, Lyngdoh, Shankar, Beikhokhei, Lalchhuanmawia, Vineeth, Rooney.
Bengaluru FC joined Mohun Bagan at the top of the table after capping off yet another superlative show to leave Pune with six points after goals from Eugeneson Lyngdoh and CK Vineeth consigned Bharat FC to a 2-0 defeat at the Balewadi Stadium, on Friday. Bengaluru, like Bagan, are on 28 points but have played two games more than the Kolkata club who play Pune FC on Saturday.
The Blues, who only two days earlier churned out a near-flawless performance in the 2-0 defeat of Pune FC, picked up from where they left as an answer to coach Ashley Westwood's call to reproduce a similar show if three points were to be taken.
Lyngdoh's strike in the 29th minute came when Sean Rooney intercepted a poor pass from Surajit Bose before teeing up the ball for the midfielder, who placed a peach of a strike past 'keeper Shahinlal Meloli from 20-yards out. The goal was a striking replica of the one Lyngdoh scored in the home tie that Bengaluru won 1-0.
Westwood started with an unchanged XI that took field in the 2-0 win against Pune FC on Tuesday while the only change on the bench was the inclusion of Robin Singh, back from serving a one-game suspension. Bharat, meanwhile, had a string of absentees owing to a combination of suspensions, injuries and a family emergency. But despite the goal, the half was an absorbing one where possession and attacks swapped hands swiftly. However, post the break was a different tale.
Ten minutes into the second half and Bengaluru struck again when CK Vineeth scored his second goal in as many games. Receiving the ball on the break and down the left, Rooney made a run before passing to Lyngdoh, in the box. Skipping the option to shoot, Lyngdoh squared the ball to Vineeth who drew Meloli out before turning and placing his shot calmly, making it 2-0.
With a two-goal cushion and Bengaluru completely in control, Westwood pulled off his goal scorers within a few minutes after the hour mark, replacing Lyngdoh and Vineeth with Robin and Sunil Chhetri. The changes added a fresh impetus to Bengaluru's attacks and Robin came close to grabbing a brace of headers.
Midfielder Joshua Walker threw in a fantastic shift in his role ahead of the defence while the back four were clinical in stuffing out every half chance to make it two clean sheets in as many games.
Bengaluru next travel to Maldives on Sunday where they take on Maziya S&RC in a game, if they won, would send them to the pre-quarterfinal stages of the AFC Champions League.
FT : Bengaluru FC win 2-0 in away also.
90': 4 minutes more. Bengaluru FC is hoing to touch 28 points like Mohun Bagan??
83': CHANGE - BEN Rooney out, Udanta in.
82': SCORE LINE : BFC 0-2 BENGALURU FC
71': CHANGE - BEN Lyndoh out, Chhetri in.
59': CHANGE - BEN Vineeth out, Robin in.
56': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL 2-0 now for Bengaluru FC through Vineeth CK off Bekhokhei's pass.
53': In last 6 matches including AFC Cup match, Bengaluru FC is unbeaten.
52': In last 6 matches, Bharat FC was unable to win any.
50': If Bengaluru FC win then they will level with Mohun Bagan 28 points from 15 match.
46': 2nd half match starts.
HT: SCORE LINE : BHARAT FC 0-1 BENGALURU FC.
40': YELLOW CARD - BENGALURU : Rino Anto.
38': Effort of Ossano from Boco but poor shot of BFC captain.
29': GOOOOOOAAAAALLLL : 1-0 for Bengaluru FC through Eugeneson Lyngdoh off Rooney's pass, who also scored the only goal in first Leg.
25': Both teams are fighting for score but still 0-0
20': No score yet, 0-0 is the scoreline.
17': BFC attacked, Boco's cross but Surojit was unable head.
10': SCORE LINE : 0-0.
10': Dipendu's cross cleared by Johnson in BENGALURU Box.
9': BFC attack through Dias, but his cross made no impact.
6': Debut of Dipendu Duari of Bharat FC alongwith Sahinlal Meloy today.
5': SCORE LINE : 0-0.
4': Effort of BFC's Surajit bose but no danger.
1': First attack of Bengaluru, Rooney's header off Lyndon's cross went out.
1': Match starts.
0': On 08.02.2015 first Leg Bengaluru FC won 1-0 courtesy Lyndoh's score.
Bengaluru FC will look to make Pune a happy outing when they square off against Kalyani Bharat FC at the Balewadi Stadium, on Friday. Ashley Westwood's team had, only two days earlier, blanked Pune FC 2-0 in a performance that left little to be desired and a win against the League's newest side will take the Blues to second on the table.
While the gaffer lauded the team on the way they went about the win, he admitted the Blues would have to churn out an encore on Friday if they are to take away anything from the game. 'On Tuesday, we came with a plan, executed it and got the job done. But we are well aware that the game against Bharat will be a tough one given the fact that we will be up against a side who have one of the best defensive records in the League.
They may not have won as many games as they would have liked to but there's many occasions where they came close to turning a draw into victory. We will have to reproduce a high standard of football if we are to take anything away from this game,' said Westwood while addressing the press on Thursday. A Eugeneson Lyngdoh wonder striker separated the two sides when Bharat traveled to Bengaluru early in the season.
Westwood will have Robin Singh back in the reckoning after the striker served his suspension in the game against Pune FC and it will be interesting to see the formation the gaffer chooses to roll out on Friday given he tweaked shape in the win on Tuesday. "We have a fully fit squad and no suspensions to deal with. I feel sorry for leaving a few players at home given how tightly knit a squad we are but what it goes to show is the depth in squad we have."
Bharat, meanwhile, have to contend with three suspensions in defenders Dharmaraj Ravanan, Gouramangi Singh and goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya. The race to the title was handed a twist on Wednesday when Dempo scored a dramatic late winner to down second-placed Royal Wahingdoh 3-2, in Goa. Earlier last week, the Shillong side beat leaders Mohun Bagan in similar fashion and an identical scoreline to throw things open. But while Westwood believes the title is Bagan's to lose, he is confident that the Blues' form should stand them in good stead at the end of it all.
"We expected Wahingdoh to lose games. They are not a consistent side. As for Bagan, they have got it all to lose. Whether they can remain consistent, we need to wait and see. In my opinion we are the best side in the League. Our form across the League, the Federation Cup and the AFC competitions is incredible. Whether it's enough, we need to wait and see,' said Westwood.
The game kicks off at 7 pm and will be telecast live on Ten Action.