Bengaluru FC consolidated its position on top of the I-League standings with a 3-1 win over host United SC at the Kalyani Stadium on Thursday.

Thoi Singh put the visitors in the lead near the end of the first half before Eric Brown scored the equaliser off a penalty early in the second.

An own goal by Dhanachandra Singh midway through the second half and a strike from Sunil Chetri, a minute from time, helped Bengaluru FC continue its winning run and grab the full quota of points.

Sedate start

The match saw a sedate start as both the sides played safe trying to assess each other. Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood tried Robin Singh in the initial line-up but the player limped off in the 22nd minute and had to be replaced by the regular midfielder Beikhokhei Beingaichho.

With Australian Sean Rooney moving up in the attack alongside Chetri, the Bengaluru attack found its rhythm late in the first half. Fine coordination up front saw Bengaluru FC get off the mark in the 44th minute. Just before the break a quick passing sequence between Liberian midfielder John Menyongar, Chetri and Rooney created the opening and Thoi Singh finished the move in style.

United SC clawed back into the match earning a penalty nine minutes into the second half when Bengaluru defender Keegan Pereira brought down Souvik Chakraborty, and Brown found the net from the spot.

Bengaluru regained the lead quickly when Rino Anto’s cross from the right in the 61st minute was headed goal-wards by Rooney, but the ball deflected off United defender Dhanachandra Singh before going into the net. Chetri finally sealed the fate of the match with an 89th minute goal that happened more because off another Dhanachandra error.

Bengaluru FC opened up a seven-point lead at the top over second-placed Pune FC, netting 37 points from 19 matches.

United SC remains in the ninth spot with 20 points from 19 outings.

The result: United SC 1 (Eric Brown pen 54) lost to Bengaluru FC 3 (Thoi Singh 44, Dhanachandra Singh 61-og, Sunil Chetri 89).

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