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Chetri strikes vs United SC

Sunil Chetri celebrates his goal with teammates, in Kalyani, on Thursday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: The crisis that United SC have been going through since the start of the season has seriously taken a toll on their players. Such is the extent that it appears some of them are losing their heads.

Riding Dhanachandra Singh’s hilarious piece of work, Bengaluru FC (BFC) regained momentum and eventually prevailed 3-1 in an I-League game, at the Kalyani Stadium, on Thursday.

The game was in the balance after Eric Brown made it 1-1 from a spot-kick early in the second half. Precisely, United SC looked to be the better side during that period. But a moment of madness from Dhanachandra handed the game over to Ashley Westwood’s side.

Sean Rooney’s header, off Rino Anto’s floater from the far left, was going straight to United SC ’keeper Jayanta Paul. All of a sudden, Dhanachandra went for a needless interception and the ball got deflected into the net. Even BFC players seemed a little amused by what happened.

No wonder they regained their lead very much against the run of play.

Soon after the 61st-minute blunder, Dhanachandra very nearly came to BFC’s aid once again as his attempted clearance found a goal-bound Sean. Fortunately for the hosts, Bello Rasaq came to United SC’s rescue, making a goalline save.

But towards the close of play, there was no respite as captain Sunil Chetri made full use of yet another poor work from Dhanachandra and converted with a right-footer to seal the deal for BFC.

Earlier, Thoi Singh earned the table-toppers a lead towards the end of the first session. United SC’s defence came to a standstill after a wonderful move from John Menyongar, who created enough room to pass it to Chetri. Chetri then centred to Sean on the left, who crossed towards an unmarked Thoi.

Converting from such position would have been bread and butter for anyone. And Thoi, too, had no problems in doing the needful.

Thanks to this victory, BFC extend their lead at the top of the league table with 37 points, seven clear of Pune FC and Salgaocar, placed second and third, respectively. And for United SC, things seem to be getting worse day by day.

TEAMS

Bengaluru FC: Pawan Kumar, Rino Anto, John Johnson (Gurtej Singh, 74), Curtis Osano, Keegan Pereira, John Menyongar; Siam Hangal, Thoi Singh, Robin Singh (B. Beikhokhei, 22); Sunil Chetri, Sean Rooney (C.K. Vineeth, 78)

United SC: Jayanta Paul, Deepak Mondal, Dhanachandra Singh, Bello Rasaq, Anupam Sarkar (Tapan Maity, 80), Hasan Almoustapha (Jayanta Sen, 62); M. Rafique (Surajit Bose, 46), K. Asif, Souvik Chakrabarti, Eric Brown; Adekunle Waheed

Referee: Raktim Saha

MoM: Sunil Chetri