Bengaluru FC awoke from their four-loss slumber by halting FC Goa’s winning run in the Indian Super League after recording a two-goal win at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda on Saturday. One goal in each half by Javi and FC Goa’s inability to vary attack left the home fans confused.
FC Goa started without Edu Bedia and the central midfield role assigned to Iker Vallejo with captain Brandon skipping through the wings, and that gave Bengaluru FC the space to make the most of the few chances they managed to create.
FC Goa, as in the other two games, created a chance when the game was around two minutes old. Noah found himself face to face with BFC goalkeeper Gurpeet Sandhu but could not manage to squeeze the ball past the burly keeper. Iker, who was nearby, failed to capitalise on the rebound.
Both teams took time to set the ball in motion until the 24th minute when Roy Krishna capitalised on a loss of concentration on part of the otherwise dependable Anwar Ali, ran a few paces and fed Javi Hernandez through who coolly slotted the first goal of the evening.
The goal did not appear to have whetted the attacking appetite of FC Goa who looked lost without midfield creativity with only Brandon trying to bring some semblance of attack through his crosses from the right and left.
But that was not enough to dent the Bengaluru FC defence where goalkeeper Gurpeet and defender Prabir Das sang through the evening.
Alvaro Garcia attempted a free kick towards the end and it was easily dealt with by the Bengaluru keeper, and, a few minutes later, Iker ballooned an opportunity instead of trying to create a chance of it.
Bengaluru FC doubled their lead even minutes into the second half when Udanta got a ball on top of his own box and ran down through the pitch into FC Goa half and on seeing Javi close by, put him through to round past FC Goa keeper Dheeraj Singh for the second goal of the evening.
Down by two goals, FC Goa coach Pena brought in Edu Bedia and Redeem Tlang and the complexion of the team's approach changed. FC Goa began to approach the game with attacking purpose and chances began to flow in and the team ending earning seven corners.
Anwar Ali, who had half a leg in Bengaluru FC’s first goal, created the best chance to score in the 80th minute when his rasping 40-yarder had to be pushed out by Gurpeet who flung to his right top corner.
Bengaluru FC’s Roy Krishna who always entertained with his poaching style of football at the Nehru stadium was quiet for a major part of the evening and he awakened the best in him before he got substituted by looping a loose ball over Dheeraj out of the side post.
FC Goa attack lacked teeth against Bengaluru FC with Brandon unable to stir any magic from the flanks - from where he was asked to play. Iker Vallejo proved to be inept in dictating midfield play. They tried to disturb the Bengaluru defence with their long high crosses which were adeptly collected by Gurpeet.
Bengaluru FC coach Simon Grayson threw in all his defenders as the match wore on whilst Carlos Pena threw in his strikers with Devendra Murgaonkar getting his first whiff of the game this season. However, for FC Goa, it proved to be too little, too late with Pena having to wait for the second goal to react.