The marquee match of the tournament came alive in the second half as Bengaluru survived a spirited fightback from Sporting Clube de Goa to eke out a 5-3 win in Group B here on Wednesday.
The Goans lost the match in the first half when they conceded three goals. The fightback came a bit too late and in the end a missed penalty by Boima Karpeh in the 57th proved costly for the Goans. An insipid Goan side conceded the opening goal off the first meaningful move initiated by Bengaluru.
An advancing Sporting goalkeeper Ravi Kumar only managed to get his leg in the way to deny Sean Daniel Rooney and the ball rebounded to an unmarked Beikhokehi who hooked in a left footer from close range in the sixth minute.
The cohesive thrust exerted by Sunil Chetri, Rooney and by overlapping wing-back Rino Anto kept the Goans defence on tenterhooks. In the 34th minute John Meyomghar’s floater found an overlapping Rino Anto’s whose precise cross was headed in by Chetri.
Chetri’s brilliance paved way for the third as he outfoxed two defenders and managed to squeeze the ball for Beikhokhei to tap in the third in the 39th.
The Goans showed more intent in the second half but Bengaluru scored against the run-of-play as substitute Robin Singh found the net off a break away move in the 65th minute.
In between that goal, Boima hit a penalty onto the crossbar which was awarded when Victorino was fouled by Curtis Osano in the 57th minute. The Goans pressed hard and Boima scored the opening goal in the 73rd minute off a pass from Victorino Fernandez. Three goals came in the final four minutes as the Goans scored twice and Bengaluru once.Match drawn
Later, Rangdajied FC held East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in another Group B match. Korean Kim Song Yong’s superb left-footer put Rangdajied ahead in the 20th minute. James Moga scored the equaliser in the 57th minute.Dempo wins
Earlier on Tuesday, Dempo Sports Club beat Bhawanipore FC 2-1 in a Group D match. After Deepan Dowary’s spectacular goal in the ninth minute, substitute Alwyn George equalised for Dempo in the 67th. Roberto Mendes Silva converted a free-kick for the match-winner.
Mohammedan Sporting earned full points against United Sikkim with a 2-1 win. Josimar put Mohammedan ahead in the 63rd minute while Penn Ikechukwu Orji increased the lead in the 70th minute.
Oluwawumi Adelja scored the consolation goal for United Sikkim in the 85th minute.
The results: On Wednesday: Bengaluru FC 5 (Beikhokhei 6 & 39, Robin Singh 65 & 93, Sunil Chetri 34) bt Sporting Clube de Goa 3 (Boima Karpeh 73, Beevan D’Mello 89, Victorino Fernandez 91); East Bengal 1 (James Moga 57) drew with Rangdajied FC 1 (Kim Song Yong 20).
On Tuesday: Dempo SC 2 (Alwyn George 67, Roberto Mendes Silva 76) bt Bhawanipore FC 1 (Deepan Dowary 9); Mohammedan Sporting 2 (Josimar Da Silva Martins 63, Penn Ikechukwu Orji 70) bt United Sikkim 1 (Oluwawumi Adelja 85).
Friday’s fixtures: Bhawanipore FC vs Mohammedan Sporting; United Sikkim FC vs Dempo SC.