Bengaluru ends losing streak with a 2-0 win over Goa
Bengaluru finally managed to end their losing streak, as they handed Goa a 2-0 defeat in their seventh match of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Both goals were scored by Javi Hernandez as the former ATK Mohun Bagan midfielder helped the Blues come out on top away from home.
Though his team defeated ATK Mohun Bagan 3-0 in the last fixture, Goa head coach Carlos Pena made a couple of tweaks to his starting XI. Noah Sadaoui replaced Redeem Tlang, whereas to maintain the overseas count to four, Edu Bedia was sacrificed for Princeton Rebello.
On the other hand, Bengaluru head coach Simon Grayson also made two changes to the team that suffered a 4-0 drubbing against Mumbai City. Prabir Das and Aleksander Jovanovic came in place of Alan Costa and Bruno Ramires.
The Gaurs had the better start and could have taken the lead as early as the seventh minute when Sadaoui found himself in space, but his shot was directed straight at the Blues’ custodian, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Bengaluru had their first attempt in the 12th minute when Udanta Singh went for glory, but his shot was blocked by one of Pena’s defenders. The next few minutes saw the Blues dominating possession without really threatening until they got the crucial breakthrough in the 27th minute.
After gaining possession in the middle, Roy Krishna made a darting run before playing a pass for Hernandez, whose shot was directed past Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem in the Gaurs’ goal.
After going a goal down, Pena’s team once again went into an attacking mood and almost scored the equaliser in the 39th minute. From a freekick in a dangerous position, Alvaro Vazquez kept his shot on goal but found Gurpreet pulling off a sensational save to safeguard the Blues’ slender lead.
Like the first half, Goa created the first opportunity of the second half as well when Vazquez attempted a shot in the 52nd minute, but the Spaniard could not get any power on his shot. It turned out to be a costly miss, as the Blues doubled their lead only five minutes later.
A Goa corner fell for Udanta, who turned on the after-burners to make a pacy run into the opposition’s half. The Gaurs’ defenders could not cope with the winger as he played a delightful chip for Hernandez, who then did the rest to beat Dheeraj and find the back of the net once again.
Pena’s team could have retaliated only four minutes later as midfielder Ayush Dev Chhetri put in a great cross inside the box, and while Sadaoui did manage to get his head to it, his attempt did not trouble Gurpreet.
Goa did well in the next few minutes, but against the run of play, Bengaluru had a good opportunity of scoring again in the 80th minute. After seeing Dheeraj out of his line, Krishna tried a long ranger but his attempt struck the crossbar.
From the counter-attack, Anwar Ali had a go at goal but Gurpreet came to the Blues’ rescue. Three minutes later, the centre-back had yet another opportunity of scoring, this time with his head, but he could not guide his shot on target. This turned out to be the last opportunity of the game.
With this victory, Bengaluru has climbed to the eighth position with 7 points to their name. They will now take on ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday while Goa slipped to the fifth position with 12 points and will be up against Mumbai City on Thursday.