Bengaluru FC claimed their first win in over a month and a half as a Lenny Rodrigues header gave them a 1-0 victory against Minerva Punjab FC at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Sunday. The result -- Albert Roca's first away win in charge of Bengaluru -- took the team to fourth position with 16 points from 11 matches.
For Bengaluru, John Johnson returned to the centre of defence alongside Juan Gonzalez while Serbian striker Marjan Jugovic made his debut.
In the 17th minute, Rodrigues leaped high to head home Cameron Watson's take from the corner. It was Rodrigues' first goal since signing for the team in the summer.
Bengaluru kept pressing for a second with Jugovic and CK Vineeth working hard together, but could take just that one goal to the dressing room at half-time.
In a second half, Udanta Singh had a shot saved in the 49th minute before Jugovic saw his header float inches high of the Minerva crossbar. Roca then sent in Harmanjot Khabra for Jugovic and Daniel Lalhlimpuia for Vineeth. Lalhlimpuia got a few chances to double the lead but lacked the finishing touch, and Bengaluru settled for a 1-0 win.
Bengaluru next face Chennai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.
Late goal rescues DSK against Chennai
In Chennai, Shane McFaul scored an injury-time goal as DSK Shivajians held Chennai City to a 1-1 draw.
Neither team looked fluent at the beginning, with no quality chance created in the early exchanges. DSK Shivajians were happy to pass the ball around but lacked the cutting edge in the final third while Chennai City booted the ball up for Charles De Souza to chase as often as possible.
But with three minutes remaining in the first half, Chennai grabbed the lead. Nandhakumar S swung in a corner to the near post where Haroon Amiri was left unmarked. The Afghan midfielder easily directed a header home from close range.
The visitors started the second half with renewed vigour while Chennai City looked happy to sit back and counter.
In the 71st minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte was through on goal but was denied by a brilliant tackle by Joseph Clemente. Chennai City got several chances on the counter but could not find the net.
As DSK Shivajians laid siege to Chennai City's goal, eight minutes of additional time was awarded by the referee. In the third minute of injury time, Charles tried to acrobatically clear a ball inside the penalty box but it deflected off a DSK player and fell straight to an unmarked McFaul, who volleyed in a finish to snatch a point for the visiting team.
The point sees Chennai remain at the bottom of the table while DSK Shivajians rose to seventh.