Cuttack: JSW Bengaluru FC defeated Shillong Lajong 3-2 in a tight encounter to make a flying start to their campaign at the 38th edition of the ongoing Hero Federation Cup here today.
Strikes by Udanta Singh (35th minute), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (46th) and an own goal by skipper Aibrolang Khongjee proved enough for the Blues to register their first win.
Yuta Kinowaki and Samuel Lalmuanpuia had found the net in the 72nd minute and 84th minute respectively for Lajong at the Barabati Stadium. Dipanda Dicka had missed a penalty for Lajong in the 71st minute.
Bengaluru FC had a nervy start to their tournament opener as opponents Shillong Lajong attacked from the word go and Dipanda Dicka's shot in the first minute itself came close to stealing the lead.
The Blues, however, recouped from the nervous opening and Sandesh Jhingan's 2nd-minute header which rattled the bar gave a testament of Bengaluru FC's attacking intent.
Alberto Roca's men dominated possession and Harmanjot Khabra and Udanta Singh proved to be a handful for Lajong's defence, running circles around them every now and then.
In the 33rd minute, BFC fostered perhaps the best scoring chance of the match as Udanta was released onto goal by skipper Sunil Chhetri. Udanta's shot, however, went wide of the goal after Kaith had come out of his lines.
Two minutes later, Udanta exorcised his demons as his shot from distance took a wicked deflection and looped in the Lajong net to hand BFC the lead as the half-time scoreline read 1-0.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh doubled Bengaluru FC's lead in the 46th minute when he timed his run to perfection to head home a Harmanjot Khabra cross from the right flank.
The Blues piled pressure on Thangboi Singto's men and in the 60th minute, Sandesh Jhingan's header from a corner kick was kept out of the goal by the Lajong defence line after Vishal Kaith had come out off his lines.
Lajong were given a penalty in the 71st minute which Dipanda shot way over the goal but Yuta Kinowaki slotted the ball home from a tight corner to reduce their deficit.
However, disaster struck for the Lajong defence two minutes later when Aiborlang Khongjee bundled the ball into his own net, doubling Bengaluru FC's lead yet again.
Thangboi Singto's men were awarded a penalty again in the 84th minute and this time Samuel Lalmuanpuia scored to make the scoreline read 3-2.
The Blues held on to a goal's advantage and saw off the match to record their first win of the Hero Federation Cup as the full-time scoreline read 3-2 in their favour.