Vasco, Goa: Bengaluru FC rode on Sunil Chhetri double strike as they beat Salgaocar FC 3-2 in their Group B league match as the 36th Federation Cup football tournament kicked off here on Sunday.
Both the team played attacking game and the visitors drew the first blood from a penalty scored by Chhetri after a Sean Rooney shot from inside the box hit defender Pawan Kumar's hand in the 25th minute at Tilak Stadium.
Salgaocar fought back and restored parity in the 32nd minute when Gurjinder's dipping free kick from almost 35 yards bounced awkwardly and beat keeper Lalthuammanwia Ralte to find the net.
Chhetri, who was named the AIFF Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, then put his team up in the 40th minute from an assist by Beikhokhei Beingaichho.
But the visitors' joy was shortlived as Douhou Pierre fired one in from the top of the box, giving the rival keeper no chance to react in the next minute.
Chhetri than turned the provider when he set up Rooney on the left, who placed the ball into the net to the left of keeper Subrata Paul at the stroke of half time which ultimately proved to be the winner.
The second half turned up to be a bit physical as Salgaocar tried hard to find the equaliser but Bengaluru did well to keep the slate clean till the end.
Bengaluru FC play their next match against Mohun Bagan on December 30, while Salgaocar take on Shillong Lajong on December 31.
In the second match of the day played at Margao, Royal Wahingdoh beat Mumbai FC 2-1 in Group A.
Royal Wahingdoh dictated terms in the first half as they had more ball possession and after coming close to scoring on a couple of occasions, surged ahead in the 34th minute.
A move on the right flank saw Bakay Bewar send a measured cross into the box for Jackichand who found the net with a firm right footer to have his team leading 1-0 at half time.
Royal Wahingdoh continued to have the edge over their rivals after the change of ends and Jackichand doubled the lead in the 59th minute off a pass from Wailadmi Passah.
After enjoying 2-0 cushion, Royal Wahingdoh slackened the pace and Josimar reduced the margin in the 67th minute.