Internet Desk: 10-man Bengaluru FC registered a hard-fought 2:0 victory over ATK and completed a hat-trick of victories for the first time in the Hero Indian Super League at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on Saturday.
Bengaluru FC started this game as favourites and didn’t have to work hard to open the scoring. Just three minutes after kick-off, Albert Roca’s men went one up, although in a fortuitous fashion. A tame looking cross by Udanta Singh’s from the right into the ATK box was sidefooted by center-back Jordi Montel past his own goalkeeper.
Bengaluru FC were reduced to 10 men when Rahul Bheke was sent off in the second session but Miku ensured Bengaluru walked away with full points with a strike in the 84th minute.
Bengaluru FC continue to lead the Hero ISL table with 27 points from 13 matches, four more than Chennaiyin FC who have a match in hand.
The early setback for ATK pegged them back but they did well to respond at the start. Jayesh Rane came close to levelling the score for the home side in the 33rd minute. Bipin Singh’s cross into the box wasn’t dealt well by Juanan and Rane was there to head the ball onto the post. The rebound fell kindly for him but Rahul Bheke cleared his second attempt off the line.
In the second half, ATK continued to push for an equalizer and the introduction of Robbie Keane in the 54th minute gave their attack dynamism. In the 57th minute, Keane’s through ball gave Martin Paterson a chance to have a go at Bengaluru FC goal but his left-footed strike was easily dealt with by Gurpreet Singh.
As the second half progressed, ATK began to dominate proceedings and the dismissal of Bheke in the 69th minute after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession seemed to have tilted the balance entirely in their favour.
In the 72nd minute, Miku had a great chance to double the lead for Bengaluru FC after ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder fumbled with the ball inside his own box. The Venezuelan striker looked sure to add to his already impressive tally of nine goals in the ISL but his shot was cleared off the line by Ashutosh Mehta.
It could have proved to be a costly miss but barely 12 minutes later Miku redeemed himself. Searching for the goal late on in the game, ATK left too many gaps behind. In the 84th minute Erik Paartalu ball Miku through, and with just the goalkeeper to beat, he calmly slotted the ball in the back of ATK net to seal full points.