Ludhiana [India], Mar.6 (ANI): Lenny Rodriguez struck a decisive goal as defending champions Bengaluru FC edged past hosts Minerva Punjab 1-0 in their I-League clash here in Ludhiana last evening.
Minerva Punjab FC headed into the match having gone unbeaten in their last 6 games while Bengaluru FC were craving to taste their first victory after 7 games.
Bengaluru FC roped in 33-year-old Serbian striker Marjan Jugovic while Minerva Punjab FC unleashed their new defensive force in Korean defender Kim Min Sang.
In the first half, the game seemed open with both teams sharing ball possession and Bengaluru FC drawing first blood after Lenny Rodrigues found the back of the net from a header off a corner in the 17th minute.
Minerva came close to scoring twice with shots from Germanpreet, but it was saved marvellously by Arminder Singh.
Bengaluru FC ace striker CK Vineeth was booked deep into the first half and also was caught on a controversial appeal for a second yellow after handling the ball.Tackles came flying end to end and Bengaluru FC attacking more in numbers this game.
In the second half, both teams came back stronger. But the game was dry with either of them failing to score. Minerva Punjab FC dominated in terms of attack while Bengaluru FC were happy to draw possession.
Lenny Rodrigues, the midfield maestro for Bengaluru FC was adjudged man of the match for his amazing performance. In the second half, Victor Amobi screamed through Nishu Kumar on the right flank but failed to find the back of the net.
On the other end, Sunil Chettri and Udanta Singh troubled the Minerva backline with constant attacks from time to time. Bengaluru FC grab their first win after 7 games and end Minerva's unbeaten streak after 6 games.
Bengaluru FC will now travel to Chennai while Minerva will host Shillong Lajong in the next I-League clash.(ANI)