On Wednesday, Bengaluru FC defeated 10-man RoundGlass Punjab FC by 2-0. The match was at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode in their second Hero Super Cup 2023 Group A encounter.
Bengaluru FC has four points from two games after drawing their first encounter against Sreenidi Deccan. Sreenidi, who defeated Kerala Blasters earlier in the day, has the same number of points.
RoundGlass Punjab had a good share of ball possession and efforts on the opposing goal in the first half. The majority of the threatening movements were orchestrated by Juan Mera Gonzalez. He set up Krishnananda Singh in the 11th minute, but the striker failed to keep his effort on goal.
Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, had several golden chances to score. In the 22nd minute, Rohit Kumar showed tremendous movement to shrug off a defender, only for his powerful effort from inside the area to strike the underside of the crossbar and rebound.
Sunil Chhetri won the ball just outside the area in the final seconds of the first half and sent it to N Sivasakthi. The juvenile attacker’s effort, however, was thwarted by RoundGlass Punjab custodian Kiran Limbu. In a follow-up move, Rohit Kumar too squandered the opportunity, failing to keep his shot on goal.
The Hero Indian Super League 2022-23 finalists got off to a stronger start after moving sides. Substitute Roy Krishna led waves of raids for the Blues and found himself in a strong position to score in the 54th minute. The Fijian attacker dribbled past Limbu, but Valpuia came in just in time to save his effort.
After Udanta Singh made a wonderful run down the right wing and produced an inch-perfect aerial cross, Chhetri came within inches of scoring. Kiran Limbu, who was in superb form on the night, stopped the Blues captain’s thunderous header.
The Nepalese custodian saved RoundGlass Punjab from conceding again in the 56th minute. This time, the 33-year-old stayed tough between the sticks to prevent Udanta from tapping in from close range.
Bengaluru finally broke through in the 66th minute when substitute Pablo Perez’s powerful header was partially parried away by Limbu, but he had no answer for Udanta’s header, which gave Simon Grayson’s side a 1-0 lead.
RoundGlass’s situation worsened as the referee issued a second yellow card and a red card to Huidrom Naocha Singh in the 78th minute for a foul on Namgyal Bhutia. Despite being down to 10 men, the Hero I-League 2022-23 winners maintained pressing for an equaliser.
The Blues eventually increased their lead deep into stoppage time. Mohammed Salah hauled down Javi Hernandez inside the box. The Spanish midfielder scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-0. The Blues will face Kerala Blasters in their last group stage encounter of the Hero Super Cup on Sunday, while RoundGlass Punjab will face Sreenidi Deccan FC.
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