Super-subs keep Bengaluru top of table
Second half substitutes Roby Norales and CK Vineeth came off the bench to help Bengaluru FC beat Chennai City FC 2-0 at the Kanteerava stadium on Saturday. Norales scored on his debut for the club in the 77th, with Vineeth doubling the lead two minutes later as Bengaluru FC went to the top of the table with this win.
Bengaluru coach Albert Roca rang in just one change from the team that beat Lajong last weekend with Mandar Rao Desai replacing Cameron Watson who was relegated to the bench with a stomach bug.
Bengaluru squandered many chances in the first half against the league's newcomers. It was as early as the 6th minute when they had their first real chance at goal. Sunil Chhetri's attempt from an Udanta Singh cross was put out by the Chennai defence. Minutes later, striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia's acrobatic attempt on the bounce was pushed away by goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, who was brilliant throughout to keep Bengaluru at bay in the first 45 minutes.
Roca made two changes in the second-half, pulling off Dessai and handing Roby Norales a debut from off the bench and then introducing CK Vineeth for Lalhlimpuia.
Norales stabbed home from close range with just over 13 minutes to go as a frustrated Blues camp finally heaved a sigh of relief. Bengaluru's second came only two minutes later when Udanta sprinted down the right to latch on to a ball that he crossed perfectly for Vineeth to hit home on the volley.
East Bengal register first win
In the other game of the day, East Bengal registered their first win of the season as they beat DSK Shivajians 2-1 at the Balewadi sports complex in Pune. East Bengal took the lead from the spot through Wedson Anselme in the 13th minute when he was brought down in the box by keeper Soram Poirei.
Gouramangi Singh's equalized in the 64th-minute for the home team before Willis Plaza scored the winner in the 80th to get the visitors over the line.
East Bengal kept asking questions but an excellent display by Poirei in goal kept the scores at 1-0 at the break. DSK Shivajians bought on Jerry Lalrinzuala and Ongnam Milan Singh at half-time to look and find the equaliser and the goal eventually came in the 64th minute.
Spanish midfielder Juan Quero's corner met Kim Song Young's headed effort, which was parried away by keeper T.P. Rehenesh. The rebound was met by Gouramangi who made it 1-1. Trevor Morgan brought on new signing Robin Singh and with 10 minutes to go, he turned provider for Willis Plaza, who scored on the break to give East Bengal their first win of the season.
The day's result means Bengaluru have a perfect record so far, taking six points from two games, with their defence yet to be beaten. Mohun Bagan can boast the same, but are behind the table toppers on goal difference. DSK's second loss in a row means they are second from bottom on goal difference, having lost both games so far.