Sunil Chhetri and Roy Krishna scored a goal each as a 10-man Bengaluru FC overcame some anxious second-half moments to down Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in the Durand Cup here on Wednesday. Eyeing the elusive Durand Cup title, the former I-League and ISL champions began on a positive note with Chhetri finding the net in the 23rd minute from a Prabir Das corner.
The much-anticipated pairing of Chhetri and Krishna then got going to make it 2-0 with the former ATK Mohun Bagan star scoring in the 56th minute. Having started from the bench, the Fijian recruit scored just 11 minutes after coming on to the pitch, as he worked in tandem with Chhetri.
Anticipating Krishna behind him, Chhetri made a perfect run into the Jamshedpur FC box, providing an inch-perfect backheel to the Fijian to do the needful. Hira Mondal, who was already on a yellow card, once again caught the eyes of referee Rahul Kumar Gupta to get a second booking as Bengaluru were reduced to 10 players in the 59th minute. The Red Miners were quick to cash in on that. Rishi utilised Phijam Vikash Singh’s free-kick from the right to pull one back.
Gokulam get ‘extension’
After the Fifa ban, Gokulam Kerala chief VC Praveen was contemplating his next move, as his women footballers battled utter helplessness in Tashkent.
He was desperate to pull out all the stops to see his players avoid the humiliation of returning from Tashkent, barely hours after arriving there as a team about to become the first Indian club to play in the AFC Women’s Club Championship. Praveen decided that instead of him dialing New Delhi from Kerala, the team should make the call to the sports ministry. The team manager spoke and the players listened.
The ministry promptly took up the matter with the AFC, which offered an extension of 48 hours in Tashkent. Praveen also wrote to Narendra Modi and apprised him of the helpless situation his players found themselves in after the ban. ISL club Kerala Blasters’ three pre-season matches in Dubai were also cancelled due to the ban. The squad, however, will stay in Dubai for the time being.