Bengaluru FC 3 (Sunil Chhetri – 25th, 40th, Sean Rooney 45th)
Salgaocar 2 (Gurjinder Kumar – 33rd, Douhou Pierre – 41st)
By Debayan Mukherjee,
AIFF Media Team
VASCO: Sunil Chhetri underlined just why he is India’s best footballer by scoring two and setting up the other as Bengaluru FC braved a stiff challenge from Salgaocar FC to script a 3-2 win in the opener of the 36th Hero Federation Cup here at the Tilak Maidan in Goa Sunday (December 28, 2014).
Chhetri – just crowed the AIFF Player of the Year for the third time in four years – got the first goal of the tournament after Rooney’s shot from inside the box hit Pawan Kumar’s hand. The referee pointed towards the spot and the Captain was at hand to place the ball just perfectly into the bottom right corner with India colleague Subrata Paul guessing right but to no avail.
But the I-League champions’ joy was short-lived as the local outfit pegged back after just seven minutes. Gurjinder sent in a dipping free kick from almost 35 yards which bounced awkwardly for keeper Lalthuammanwia Ralte and bundled in.
Five minutes to halftime, the game picked up real pace with three goals scored in that period.
First it was the boys in blue who rode on a buccaneering run from Beikhokhei Beingaichho down the right flank to find Sunil who tapped it in from inside the box. One minute later the green shirts drew level for the second time in the game. Douhou fired one in from the top of the box to bulge the net leaving keeper with no chance.
With four minutes to go on the clock BFC added their third.
Chhetri turned provider this time, setting up Rooney on the left with the Australian placing it to the keeper’s left.
At halftime the score read 3-2.
The second half saw tempers flaring between the two sides as BFC looked more content to sit on their one goal lead and Salgaocar tried to come back into the game from the third time.
Chances were few and far between post the breather with the expected late rush from the trailing outfit, but the I-League champions stood firm and saw it through to register the first full points.
Bengaluru FC play Mohun Bagan on December 30 while Salgaocar take on Shillong Lajong on new year’s eve.
Picture courtesy: Bengaluru FC Media
Posted on : Sunday December 28, 2014