Leaders Bengaluru FC blanked Mohun Bagan 2-0 to go four points clear at the top of the table and inch closer to the title after their round 24 I-League fixture at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. Thoi Singh put the visitors in front at the stroke of halftime while Sean Rooney doubled the lead in the 60th minute to help Bengaluru restore their four-point lead at the top, while Mohun Bagan remained in danger of relegation with 24 points from 22 outings.
Bagan enjoyed lot of possession in the opposition half but they never really tested Bengaluru custodian Pawan Kumar.
Bengaluru, on the other hand, lacked penetration from open play and only looked dangerous from crosses with Bagan keeper Shilton Paul having to come out and punch clear twice. As the half progressed, both teams struggled physically due to the hot and humid conditions.
But Bengaluru broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime almost out of nothing. A needless back-header by Denson Devadas sent Rooney behind the Mohun Bagan backline and the Australian’s cross from the right flank was headed into the back of the net by Thoi.
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Mohun Bagan were forced to replace Shilton at the interval due to injury with veteran Sandip Nandy coming on.
The home side’s first real effort of the match was a shot from Katsumi Yusa that missed the target. Bengaluru did not really get going in the second half but doubled their advantage at the hour mark as Rooney latched on to a mishit clearance from Sandip and found the back of the net with a well-placed shot.
Much like the first half Mohun Bagan never really looked like scoring and Bengaluru could have increased their lead when Thoi’s cross found Robin unmarked inside the six-yard box but the India international put his header over the bar.
Sporting earn a point
Margao: Sporting Clube de Goa rallied to hold Churchill Brothers to a 1-1. Churchill Brothers, who needed a victory badly in their quest to avoid relegation, took the lead in the 72nd minutes. Sporting fought back and found the equaliser in the 80th minute through Boima Karpeh.
Churchill now have 19 points from 20 matches. While Sporting Clube de Goa remained on fourth place with 33 points from 22 matches. Both the teams played an attacking game but failed to break the deadlock in a barren first half. Churchill Brothers started on a promising note as they showed a lot of urgency, especially in the later part of the first half but wasted the chances that came their way with Anthony Wolfe being the main culprit.
Churchill’s midfielder Abdel Shabana, who led the attack from the middle, was instrumental in initiating most of moves.