Bengaluru FC on Sunday edged past defending champions Chennaiyin FC 1-0 in their ISL 2018 opener at the Sree Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru.
Venezuelan striker Nicolas Miku hit an absolute bullet into the top-right corner, off a brilliant through ball from Francisco Xisco in the 41st minute, as Bengaluru avenged their 3-2 loss to Chennai in the final of the previous edition.
Chennaiyin FC (CFC) dictated the tempo throughout the south Indian derby and created several chances. They, however, lacked inspiration in the final-third as the front-line failed to convert on multiple occasions. Chennai managed to hit only four shots, out of their nine attempts, on target while Bengaluru had three out of their six shots on target.
CFC’s seasoned striker Jeje Lalpekhlua missed twice from dangerous positions. Jeje had a golden opportunity, off a stunning ball from Gregory Nelson in the 19th minute, but he misplaced a pass for Germanpreet, who could only muster a swing towards the side-netting.
A sloppy back pass from defender Rahul Bheke in the 33rd minute allowed Jeje to intercept inside the box but the latter could not keep the ball in play after beating goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Earlier, Bengaluru’s Erik Paartalu had a shot on target in the third minute but was denied by Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.