Bengaluru: After a shocking loss away to Mumbai City FC last week, Bengaluru FC got back to winning ways after a victory against an in-form Northeast United by 2-1.
This win allows BFC to regain their spot at the top of the table after losing it temporarily last week.
Northeast got off to a fast start and attacked BFC with a high press. Dimas Delgado was excellent in trying to pick passes that open up a well-organized Northeast and succeeded in releasing Udanta Singh in space, whose shot was blocked.
In the 14th minute, BFC drew a foul outside the box and four players including Udanta and Dimas were lining up to take the freekick. Within a matter of seconds, Udanta went flying past the ball and Dimas then deceivingly found Sunil Chhetri peeling away from the wall.
Chhetri's first-time ball spread It out wide to a well-positioned Udanta who whips in a vicious cross into the heart of Northeast's penalty box and Mislav Komorski's unfortunate touch led to an own goal. Straight out of the training ground, BFC pulled off a blinder and took the lead.
Northeast turned up the heat and managed to create a dominant structure in the middle of the pitch. Their organized formation allowed space on the overlap for their fullbacks and created several chances but couldn't find the breakthrough.
Rowlin Borges, in particular, had two attempts where he broke through the BFC midfield with some staggering diagonals. Just as the first half was drawing to a close, the away side unleashed a flurry of attacks. Bartholomew Ogboche found Reagan Singh in open space but was saved by an excellent stop from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The resulting corner needed another sublime save from Gurpreet to deny a point-blank header from Komorski.
The second half began in similar fashion with Northeast bombarding the home side with a string of attacks and BFC trying to hit them on the counter.
The home side was finding it difficult to cope with Northeast's constant overlaps and dominant wing play. In the 61st minute, Federico Gallego found himself isolated and managed to get past Juanan with ease and slotted home the equalizer through Gurpreet's legs. Northeast's domination with the ball had finally paid off as they showed no signs of stopping.
Twice in the next ten minutes, Gurpreet was exposed by Northeast's structure and the Indian No.1 stood up tall and kept the away side at bay constantly with majestic saves. Tempers were beginning to flare as Carles Cuadrat, Eelco Schattorie and a number of players getting involved in tussles on the pitch.
With just under a quarter to play, BFC Coach Carles Cuardrat brought on Chencho Gyeltshen which changed the dynamic of the game.
The forward brought an instant spark in the final third with his pace, power, and relentless pressing. Minutes later, Juanan launched the ball into the box and Chencho, left unmarked, smashes home at the near post and scores the winner for BFC.
Chencho's shot was ironically their first shot on target in the match while the away side ended with 19 shots and 10 on target.
Northeast threw caution to the wind and went at the home side's box with everything they had, requiring Alberto Serran and co. to defend for their lives and Gurpreet to be at his very authoritative best to protect their goal.
BFC withstood the pressure from all directions and celebrated with an electrifying atmosphere at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium....