India international Lenny Rodriguez’s 17th minute strike enabled defending champions Bengaluru FC beat Minerva Punjab 1-0 in an I-League encounter, in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Minerva’s unbeaten run in their last 6 games was broken while Bengaluru FC logged full points after seven games.
In the first half, the game seemed open with both teams sharing ball possession and Bengaluru FC drawing first blood after Lenny’s powerful header from a corner kick found the back of the net.
Minerva came close to scoring twice with shots from Germanpreet saved marvelously by Arminder Singh and Lalrempuia’s shot just inches wide off the post.
Bengaluru FC ace striker CK Vineeth was booked deep into the first half and also was caught on a controversial appeal for a second yellow after handling the ball.
In the second half, both teams came back stronger. But the game was dry with either of them failing to score. Minerva Punjab FC dominated in terms of attack while Bengaluru FC were happy to draw possession.
Bengaluru FC will next travel down south to Chennai while Minerva will host Shillong in the next 48 hours.