BENGALURU: After 2-1 victory against Goa in their last game at home, Bengaluru FC needed to carry on the momentum against Jamshedpur FC. They hadn’t been clinical in front of goal and that needed addressing too. While the latter didn’t improve drastically, Bengaluru did improve their form, getting the better of Jamshedpur in a 2-0 victory in the Indian Super League match at Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Thursday.
After Erik Paartalu’s header (8’) gave Bengaluru an early lead, skipper Sunil Chhetri’s 63rd-minute strike made it 2-0. Custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made some fine saves which helped them keep the clean sheet and secure three points to move to the second spot on the league table with 22 points from 12 games.
Bengaluru made just one change to their starting line-up that beat Goa. Udanta Singh was expectedly benched while Ashique Kuruniyan started on the right flank. Manuel Onwu occupied the striker’s position with Sunil Chhetri on the left-wing.
Their opponents, Jamshedpur, however, made a plethora of changes. With injured Sergio Castel and Piti yet to recover, new signing David Grande started as the striker while Gourav Mukhi, who served a six-month suspension, made it to the starting XI after over a year. Amarjit Singh Kiyam, who was coming off from an eight-month injury lay-off, too was given a go.
But it was the hosts who dominated proceedings. Kuruniyan even had a go at Jamshedpur’s goal when he tried to lob Subrata Paul in the fourth minute. But his effort hit the post. However, Bengaluru found the opener in the eighth minute from yet another set-piece after Paartalu headed home from a Dimas Delgado corner.The goal boosted Bengaluru’s confidence. Two minutes later, Kuruniyan tested Paul with a long-range effort. But the former India No 1 was alert to parry it away. As Bengaluru continued to dominate, Jamshedpur created their first chance out of nowhere.
Grande’s through ball pierced Bengaluru defence and found Farukh Choudhary in a one-on-one position with custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. But Kuruniyan did well to track back and dispossessed Choudhary. Bengaluru continued to put pressure on Jamshedpur defence and they were clearly the better side in the first half. Bengaluru had created five chances to Jamshedpur’s one and had four shots compared to one from their opponents.
Antonio Iriondo’s men needed the lemon break to regroup and they looked much better in the second half. After Kuruniyan shot wide from an Onwu pass, Jamshedpur had the best chance to equalise. After receiving the ball just outside the box, the Spanish forward had Gurpreet in a one-on-one position but the Bengaluru custodian made a one-handed save to deny the visitors in the 59th minute.
Three minutes later, Mukhi was in a similar situation after Delgado’s attempted back pass was picked up by the 21-year-old. However, Juanan came to Bengaluru’s rescue and Paartalu set up Chhetri with a fine long pass. The latter just had to beat Paul and he did just that with a calm finish to score his eighth goal of the campaign and share the joint top-scorers’ list with Roy Krishna of ATK and Ferran Corominas of Goa.