Late strike gives Bengaluru FC winning start
Bengaluru FC (BFC) rode a late Alan Costa strike to beat NorthEast United FC 1-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, as football returned to Bangalore, on Saturday. The Blues, who returned to their home ground after a two-season hiatus, saw 19,000 fans make their way into the stands.
Earlier, Simon Grayson started with a front three of Sunil Chhetri, Roy Krishna and Sivasakthi Narayanan, while Costa, Aleks Jovanovic and Sandesh Jhingan were the three men at the back. The visitors, meanwhile started with Frenchman Romain Philippoteaux in an attacking role, with Matt Derbyshire the focal point.
Bengaluru had the first big chance of the game when Naorem Roshan blitzed past white shirts down the left before deftly cutting the ball back for Sivasakthi. The young striker’s attempt to place the ball beyond Arindam Bhattacharja flew just inches wide.
With only minutes left to play, Bengaluru won a corner that substitute Javi Hernandez swung in for Costa, who nodded past Bhattacharja to give the hosts the lead.
With four minutes added on, NorthEast United had the ball in the back of the net through Jon Gaztanaga.
However, on consultation with his assistant, referee Rahul Gupta disallowed the goal citing an infringement in the box.
Defending champions Hyderabad FC take on Mumbai City in Pune on Sunday.