Bengaluru and Chennaiyin were involved in a closely-contested fixture on Friday…
A Sunil Chhetri spot-kick in the second half was enough for Bengaluru to pick up their first win of the season in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) match against Chennaiyin at the GMC Stadium on Friday.
In a match that was evenly-contested for most parts, it was the defending form both teams that took centre-stage.
In a first half that was devoid of much goalmouth action, Chennaiyin’s biggest blow was an injury to Anirudh Thapa. The India international midfielder had to be taken off in the 16th minute, with Edwin Vanspaul replacing him.
Two minutes later, Rafael Crivellaro registered his team’s only shot on target in the first half when he fired a straightforward, first-time effort straight at Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The game turned into an extremely cagey affair and the midfielder witnessed an intense battle with Vanspaul and Deepak Tangri working hard to keep the likes of Dimas Delgado and Suresh Wangjam in check.
Suresh won a throw-in which Rahul Bheke delivered into the box to cause a bit of concern for the Machans’ defence after the 30-minute mark. Cleiton Silva received the throw-in and chipped it into the box for Juanan whose header was on target but not powerful enough to beat Vishal Kaith.
The teams started the second half with much more energy. Deepak Tangri went close minutes after the restart from a Crivellaro free-kick. The youngster sent a looping header towards goal from the centre of the box but Gurpreet’s height allowed him to grab onto the ball.
The deadlock was finally broken by the Blues in the 56th minute. Edwin Vanspaul brought down Silva inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Sunil Chhetri coolly slotted the ball past Kaith to give his team the lead.