Bengaluru FC go down 2-0 to Chennaiyin FC

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC’s troubles on the road continued as they went down 2-0 to Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

Spot-kicks from Rafael Crivellaro (6’) and Jordan Murray (50’) proved the difference at the Marina Arena, as Owen Coyle’s side extended the Blues’ winless streak to seven games. The result left the Blues in ninth place with seven points from 10 games.

Interim Head Coach Renedy Singh recalled Namgyal Bhutia to the side, as Javi Hernandez and Sunil Chhetri started in a 4-4-2.

In midfield, Harsh Patre and Suresh Wangjam were preferred alongside Halicharan Narzary, who made his return to the eleven.

Elsewhere, Owen Coyle rang in one change to the Chennaiyin squad that drew 2-2 against Jamshedpur, as Vincy Baretto was given the nod ahead of Farukh Choudhary down the left flank.

Bengaluru found themselves on the backfoot with just five minutes on the clock when Bhutia was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, prompting referee Ashwin to point to the spot. Rafael Crivellaro stepped up and made no mistake, sending Gurpreet Singh Sandhu the wrong way to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

The Blues looked to respond immediately and had a shout for handball waved away just moments later when Bhutia’s attempted cross into the box looked to have struck Ankit Mukherjee, with replays showing the latter had stopped the ball with his outstretched arm.

Gurpreet was called into action twice, first by Baretto whose shot was pushed away by the Blues’ number one, and then by Jordan Murray whose effort was blocked from point-blank range. Bengaluru had chances of their own, notably through Chhetri but his effort was held well by Debjit Majumder.

Both sides remained unchanged as they came out for the break, but it was the hosts that took proceedings by the scruff of the neck as Crivellaro won his side another spot-kick, this time weaving his way into the box prompting an ill-timed tackle from Patre. Murray stepped up, and placed his spot-kick past Gurpreet’s dive to make it 2-0 with 50 minutes on the clock.

Bengaluru came close to reducing the deficit with just an hour played when Javi’s free-kick found Patre in the box, but the youngster’s attempted header went high of the bar. Moments later, Sivasakthi found Suresh Wangjam in the box, but the midfielder’s strike on the turn could only find the side-netting.

Renedy rang in changes as Shivaldo Chingambam and Monirul Molla were summoned off the bench, replacing Narzary and Bhutia. Owen Coyle made changes of his own, bringing Conor Shields and Irfan Yadwad, replacing Jordan Murray and Ninthoi Meetei.

Bengaluru came close to finding the back of the net through Sivasakthi, who nodded a cross from substitute Rohit Danu on target but it was pushed away by Majumder on what was a night to forget for the Blues.

Bengaluru FC return to the Kanteerava Stadium, where a clash against Jamshedpur FC awaits them on Saturday. UNI

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