I-League: BFC lose points yet again, Lajong beaten at home

Bengaluru FC (BFC) dropped their first points at home this season after a fortuitous goal allowed Minerva Punjab FC claim a point with a 1-1 draw at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

The point leaves the Blues on fifth position with 11 points from seven games. Sunil Chhetri's fourth goal in as many games seemed like doing the job for Bengaluru, before a harmless looking cross from Kamalpreet Singh looped into the BFC goal after a heavy deflection off Sandesh Jhingan.

With the goal Sunil Chhetri is now on level with Bhaichung Bhutia for the most number of goals (89) in the National Football League(NFL)/ I-League history.

In a first half that was completely dominated by BFC, Chhetri saw an attempt come off the crossbar from a set-piece routine in the 33rd minute as Minerva threw legs in the box to deal with the ricochet. Despite all the dominance by Bengaluru, Minerva managed to see the half through without conceding.

But Chhetri got his goal and Bengaluru, a much-deserved lead in the 53rd minute. Udanta Singh, after losing his marker sent in a cross that was headed away by the Minerva defence only to fall at the feet of Chhetri. The No.11's strike was placed perfectly beyond the reach of keeper Arnab Das Sarma to make it 1-0.

Buoyed by a lead they deserved, Bengaluru attacked with even more intent and came close soon after. Harmanjot Khabra saw a shot from a tight angle fly over and Eugeneson Lyngdoh should have buried a header from an Udanta cross as Bengaluru kept hunting for a second.

But the Bengaluru defence, that had kept things clean and flawless at the back for 78 minutes, caved in and rather cruelly. A harmless looking cross from Kamalpreet Singh seemed to have caught Jhingan's foot and looped over a frozen and wrong-footed Amrinder Singh to make it 1-1.

Bengaluru, chasing the win, came agonizingly close to finding an equaliser on five occasions but it wasn't to be as shots from Udanta, Mandar Rao Dessai and Chhetri would only sail high or be blocked away.

Shillong Lajong lose first home game of the season

Shillong Lajong FC went down fighting to DSK Shivajians 1-2 in an enthralling contest at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday.

Lajong who were in the hunt for their fifth consecutive home victory failed to capitalize on Aser Dipanda Dicka's 33rd-minute strike after Sanju Pradhan gave the visitors an early 16th-minute lead. Shane McFaul then scored in the 44th minute to set up only their second win of the season.

The first goal came when Pradhan gathered the ball just outside the box and crossed it for Holicharan Narzary, but defender Samuel Shadap intercepted and headed the ball away. Unfortunately for Lajong, that header went straight back to Pradhan, who placed the ball neatly past keeper Vishal Kaith.

This was the first time in 2016-17 that Shillong Lajong found themselves trailing in a home match.

Lajong briefly restored parity 10 minutes into half-time when Dicka equalised. A failed clearance from a corner saw the Cameroonian manage to pounce on the ball to find the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season.

It was not long before DSK took back the lead. A minute before half-time, McFaul dealt a decisive blow to make it 2-1. Lajong custodian Vishal Kaith failed to gather a corner kick by Juan Quero as an alert McFaul tapped it in with ease.

Lajong dominated the rest of the game but failed to find the net as Subrata Paul pulled off decisive saves to inflict Lajong's first home loss of this season.

Chennai City stun Mumbai FC

Goals from Dhanpal Ganesh and Charles de Souza saw Chennai City FC beat Mumbai FC 2-1 to inflict a sixth loss in as many games for Mumbai FC in the I-League.

After sacking their head coach Robin Charles Raja just seven games into the new I-League season, new boss V Soundararajan was taking charge for the first time.

He wasn't to be disappointed as the home side came back from a goal down to win only their second game of the season and move to seventh in the table.

Mumbai FC continued their poor run of form as Anderson da Silva's (28') opener was cancelled out by Dhanapal Ganesh (29') before Charles de Souza scored in the 69th minute to seal all three points for the new look Chennai side.

Mumbai FC had absolutely no response to the goal and collapsed as the idea of a sixth straight loss began to look real. Tney tried to pepper the Chennai penalty box with long balls towards the end of the game, but Chennai keeper Shahinlal was not troubled much.