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Bengaluru FC inch closer to the title

Calcutta: More than McDowell Mohun Bagan, it’s Kingfisher East Bengal who would be disappointed with what transpired at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Sunday.

Bengaluru FC (BFC)’s 2-0 win over Bagan not just helped them stretch their lead at the top, but also increased their margin to seven points with East Bengal who had started to dream big following their comprehensive win on Saturday.

Anyhow, a team shouldn’t really expect to lift a trophy riding the follies of another. And as far as Bengaluru FC are concerned, they seem a determined lot to win the I-League and make it an unforgettable debut.

Under the able leadership of captain Sunil Chetri, Thoi Singh and Sean Rooney found the target for Bengaluru FC in each halves to ensure their team moved a step closer to the title.

Thoi, who had an extraordinary game, gave the visitors a lead much against the run of play towards the end of the first session. Rooney crossed one from the right and Thoi was smart enough to put it home with a header.

Interestingly, the goal was scored moments after their coach Ashley Westwood got marching orders for crossing the technical area despite warnings and arguing with the fourth referee. Sources claimed Westwood was so upset that he broke a piece of glass while on his way to the dressing room.

At the end of the day, though, he was a happy man as his ouster had no repercussions whatsoever in the performance of his players.

Midway through the second half, Bagan made matters worse for themselves, courtesy substitute ’keeper Sandip Nandy’s awful goal-kick. Playing in to pressure from Robin Singh, Sandip got his goal-kick horribly wrong. It went straight to Rooney, who unleashed a 25-yard volley that was good enough to seal the game for Bengaluru FC.

Talking about Bagan, there seems to be discontent in the dressing room, as sources claimed. It was learnt that goalie Shilton Paul got into a dispute with coach Karim Bencharifa. It did look a little weird when Karim all of a sudden had Shilton replaced with veteran Sandip after interval. Besides, the Moroccan did mention at the post-match media conference that “the first goal shouldn’t have been conceded. We could’ve avoided both the goals, though.”

TEAMS

Bengaluru FC: Pawan Kumar; Rino Anto (Vishal Kumar, 87), Curtis Osano, John Johnson, Keegan Pereira; Thoi Singh (Darren Caldeira, 75), John Menyongar, Siam Hangal; Robin Singh, Sunil Chetri, Sean Rooney

Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul (Sandip Nandy, 46); Pritam Kotal, Anyichie Echezona, Rowilson Rodrigues, Kinshuk Debnath; Pankaj Moula, Denson Devadas, Zakeer Mundampara (Bikramjit Singh, 73), Katsumi Yusa; Odafa Okolie, Christopher Chizoba

Referee: Rahul D’Sa

MoM: John Johnson