Chhetri strikes twice for Bengaluru FC, leads sixth win

IANS| Updated: Dec 01, 2013, 18:36 PM IST

Bangalore: Maintaining their unbeaten run at home, Bengaluru FC here Sunday edged past Shillong Lajong 2-1 for their sixth win in 11 matches and moved to the top of the I-League table with a tally of 21 points.

Two first-half goals by Sunil Chhetri, the India skipper, set up BFC’s victory as the hosts saw off a late surge by Lajong, who drew some consolation through an 81st minute strike by Boithang Haokip as the visitors slipped to their third loss to remain on 14 points from 11 outings.

Not surprisingly, BFC began with the same line-up that had won them full points against Salgaocar recently and manager Ashley Westwood’s gamble paid off as the home team set the pace to dictate early exchanges.

Past the seventh minute, Chhetri put BFC ahead by scoring off a Robin Singh pass. The hosts should have gone 2-0 up in the 20th but Chhetri’s header from a Beikhokhei Beingaichho cross came off the post.

In their desperation to keep the marauding BFC at bay, Lajong slipped badly as Milan Singh fouled Chhetri inside the area for a penalty which Chhetri converted in the 34th minute to give his team a 2-0 advantage.

Lajong came into their own on resumption as they created a few chances but failed to cash in on them. While at the other end, BFC had a few close looks at the rival goal.

Haokip, the 26-year old Manipuri, seemed to carry his team’s hopes and looked threatening before he scored off a free-kick to help Lajong reduce the leeway.

Thereafter, BFC easily played out time while nursing their slender lead to pick up full points that placed them on top of the league table.