Bengaulru FC’s new attacking combination of Sunil Chhetri and Roy Krishna delivered once more as the former I-League and Indian Super League champion breezed past Indian Air Force 4-0 in a Group-A match of the 131st Durand Cup football, at the Kishore Bharati Stadium here on Tuesday.
The two showed their striking quality in a great measure scoring once each in the first half to set Bengaluru on the winning path. Substitutes Faisal Ali and Siva Sakthi added two more after the interval to ensure Bengaluru’s dominance over the Airmen.
The Krishna-Chhetri pair emerged the important factor in Bengaluru’s victory march this season.
The two contributed with a goal each in the team’s opening game win (2-1) against Jamshedpur FC. Krishna continued to show good form as he gave Bengaluru the lead against Indian Air Force in the ninth minute off a nice solo effort.
Chhetri fetched the insurance goal in the 23rd minute as he latched on to a long cross from Prabir Das and volleyed home a nice finish.
Bengaluru expectedly continued to dominate the action as the Airmen failed to match the quality of the former’s performance. Faisal found the third goal for Bengaluru in the 71st minute when another substitute Udanta Singh set him up with a nice cross.
Siva Sakthi, who replaced Chhetri in the final quarter of the action, provided the finishing touch when he found the net in the injury-time (90+3) to complete the scoring process. The win helped Bengaluru FC join Mohammedan Sporting on top of the current group league standings with six points from two wins each.
Odisha FC wins second match in a row
Odisha FC relied on two second half goals to post a comprehensive 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters in a Group D match of the Durand Cup football tournament at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.
Isaac celebrates along with others after scoring the first goal against Kerala Blasters FC.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu
Issac Vanmalsawma provided the breakthrough in the 51st minute and Spaniard Saul Crespo inflated the lead in the 74th minute as Odisha secured its second successive win.
Young Blasters, which had a 1-1 draw against Sudeva Delhi in its first match, hardly tested the Odisha defence and suffered its first loss.
Following its thumping 6-0 win over North East United, the experienced Odisha side used its flanks to put pressure on Blasters.
However, the compact Blasters defence withstood the pressure and denied Odisha any success in the first half.
Odisha had some good chances. In the 22nd minute, Issac got a loose ball in the goalmouth but shot it over the post.
In the 35th minute, Jerry sent in an excellent ball into the box. An industrious Nandha Kumar rushed in from the left to head it, but saw Blasters’ alert custodian Sachin Suresh blocking the attempt.
Odisha got the lead six minutes after resumption. Brazilian substitute Diego Mauricio entered the box beating two defenders on the right and cut it back to an unmarked Issac to slot in the much-awaited goal.
Odisha missed some opportunities before netting its second goal as Crespo guided in an Osama Malik header.
Group A: Bengaluru FC 4 (Krishna 9, Chhetri 23, Faisal 71, Siva Sakthi 90+3) bt Indian Air Force 0.
Group D: Odisha FC 2 (Issac 51, Crespo 74) bt Kerala Blasters 0.