Kolkata: Table-toppers Bengaluru FC retuned to winning ways with an edgy 1-0 victory, where they nearly conceded a goal twice in the match, but held to win against NorthEast United at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday. Former Venezuelan striker Miku scored the solitary goal after a horrendous error from home team custodian TP Rehenesh.
Faced with a goalkeeper crisis after the suspension of Gurpreet Singh, Roca named Lalthuammawia Ralte who had just returned from injury in the starting line-up and the Mizoram boy repaid every penny of the bet put on him, keeping out every ball that threatened the goal. His positioning to save Danilo Cezario’s powerful shot from inches wide in the box was a treat to the eye and so were other dives he put out, whenever called upon.
Instead it was NorthEast who were undone by a silly mistake by custodian TP Rehenesh, that led to the only goal of the match, 90 seconds into the second half. His frail pass to Goncalves was intercepted by a lurking Udanta Singh, who quickly found Miku unmarked and the experienced former Venezuelan international made no mistake, with only the goalkeeper to beat.
A goal down in the 46th minute, the ‘Highlanders’ threw the kitchen sink but Bengaluru held on with Ralte pulling out some close saves, while Paartalu and Johnson made some important interceptions.
Marcinho who saw a couple of his shots kept away by the third choice keeper at Bengaluru, put Danilo clear on goal just before the end of first half, but the latter’s shot was parried away by a diving Ralte. The Brazilian however had another chance at glory late into the game, when Sambinha brought down a Gursimrat cross into his path, but with an entire goal infront of him, the former Santos product shot straight at Ralte as ‘The Blues’ survived a late scare to seal the three points.