It was a momentous occasion for home fans at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. For the first time, Bengaluru FC was making its way to Indian Super League. Facing off against a defensively strong line-up of Mumbai City FC, the Sunil Chhetri led side would have wanted to get on to a winning start to their campaign. With the advantage of the home crowd support, hosts beat Mumbai 2-0 with Eduardo Martin Garcia and Sunil Chhetri finding the back of the net.
The first half was tricky. Bengaluru kept on charging in front but brilliant goalkeeping efforts from Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh kept the Blues at bay. Miku, who led the charge for the home team, found numerous chances, but all his shots on target went in vain.
Mumbai’s resistance was finally broken in the 67th minute by 27-year old Spaniard Edu Garcia, who made the most of a defensive error from Amrinder. A comedy of errors from the goalkeeper gave away a corner to Bengaluru. Picking up the ball from a low corner, Garcia swung past Amrinder to give its side a 1-0 lead.
In spite of defensive set-up from Mumbai, with from Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Marcio Rozario, Bengaluru attackers kept on charging ahead, with Chhetri leading from the front. The home side managed 16 shots on target while the visitors only had 1 shot on target in 90 minutes.
Chhetri, who was later declared as the Hero of the Match, also found the back of the net in the dying minutes of the match. Amrinder, who was brilliant throughout the game, made a run ahead, which opened up space for Chhetri who did not miss from a close distance and doubled Bengaluru’s lead. A goal in the 93rd minute left no chance for Mumbai to make any comeback and the match ended 2-0.
Accepting the Hero of the match award, Bengaluru City FC skipper said, “It feels great to make a winning start.” Speaking on home fans that roared throughout the night, Chhetri added: “I can never imagine coming to Kanteerava and playing against the Bengaluru fans. You guys are awesome!”