Bengaluru: Defending champions Bengaluru FC earned their first win this season after a terrific 3-0 result over arch-rivals Chennaiyin FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.
Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu got the ball rolling for Bengaluru with the opening goal (14’) before captain Sunil Chhetri made it 2-0 with a sensational strike (25’). Thongkhosiem Haokip rounded off a fine victory with a late goal (84’).
The win lifts Bengaluru to the fifth position in the Hero Indian Super League while Chennaiyin, who are yet to score a goal after four games, are rock bottom.
Bengaluru FC asserted their dominance right from the start, creating several chances in the opening 10 minutes. Chennaiyin custodian Vishal Kaith was called into action early in the fifth minute when former Chennaiyin man Raphael Augusto did brilliantly to get to the byline and find Juanan with a cutback. The Spaniard’s first-time shot was blocked by Kaith with his legs.
Augusto continued to torment his former team and should have scored five minutes later when Udanta Singh’s cross found his way to him, but he could not sort his feet out in time.
Kaith then had to pull off another save to prevent Udanta from scoring after being sent through on goal by Chhetri. Bengaluru’s domination paid off in the 14th minute when Erik Paartalu, returning from injury, rose highest inside the box to head home a corner from Dimas Delgado.
Even after taking the lead, Bengaluru continued to maintain control of the game as Chennaiyin struggled to cope with their rivals.