Bengaluru: Udanta Singh fired home an 87th minute winner to light up the Fortress as Bengaluru FC beat Delhi Dynamos 1-0 to go three points clear on top of the table and keep the Blues’ unbeaten start to the Indian Super League, intact, at the Kanteerava Stadium, on Monday. Skipper Sunil Chhetri marked his 150th game in a BFC shirt as his side fought tooth and nail until the final whistle to get the better of a stubborn Delhi side.
Delhi could have gone ahead in the 30th minute if it hadn’t been for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s making himself big to deny Lallianzuala Chhangte from a one-on-one situation. Encouraged by the threat they put the Bengaluru defence under, the visitors attacked with confidence and it needed more of Sandhu’s quality to keep them at bay.
Earlier, Cuadrat chose to start with a shape that seemed like a 4-4-2 with defender Rino Anto being handed his first start this season. With no Dimas Delgado (suspended), Nishu Kumar moved up on the left in midfield, while Chencho Gyeltshen had Chhetri for a partner in attack.
Bengaluru came close as soon as the half resumed when Udanta Singh played the perfect cut-back for Chhetri, but the skipper’s attempt to stroke the ball into the far corner was disappointing by his standards.
Sensing the need to shake things up a little, Cuadrat brought on Erik Paartalu for Rino Anto, prompting Nishu to return to his familiar position at left-back. A second change was made soon after with Semboi Haokip replacing Gyeltshen as the Blues began showing far more purpose than they did in the first half.
Delhi, who were keeping things at the back tight, lost possession after Haokip pressed Gianni Zuiverloon, stole the ball off the Dutchman and picked Udanta. The winger lobbed the ball over the defence to pick Xisco Hernandez’s run perfectly, only for the Spaniard to scuff his attempt on the volley.
With less than five minutes left on the clock, Semboi pressed Zuiverloon once again, this time in an attempt to find space to get a shot away but instead the ball bounced away from goal towards an incoming Udanta, who found himself in space. With time to compose himself, the winger sent a shot goalward that took the slightest of nicks off Marti Crespi before heading towards the bottom corner and shaking the net off the upright to send thousands of BFC fans into a frenzy.
Bengaluru will next face FC Pune City in their first reverse fixture of the League season, at the Kanteerava Stadium, on Friday.