ISL: Bengaluru FC arrest slide, keep hopes alive with win versus East Bengal

The win against East Bengal has taken former ISL champions Bengaluru FC to sixth in the standings.

By Naveen Peter ·

Former Indian Super League (ISL) champions Bengaluru FC brought their eight-match winless streak to a halt with a 2-0 win over East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama on Tuesday.

For a team that has conceded goals in ISL 2020-21, Bengaluru FC were compact in their defence. The two first-half strikes gave BFC the confidence to control the game better.

The Bengaluru FC goals came in the first half through Cleiton Silva (12th minute) and a Debjit Majumder own goal (45th). This sealed BFC's fourth win of the season.

Though East Bengal ticked all the right boxes in the stats column, the Robbie Fowler-coached side couldn’t do much with the ball as Bengaluru FC, led by Sunil Chhetri, kept a close check on their opponents throughout the match.

Tuesday's victory could prove to be the turning point in Bengaluru FC’s ISL 2020-21 season. The team has now risen to sixth in the points table and has five more matches to play.

“I am very happy for the players and the way that they gave their best. They were fighting till the last whistle. It was very nice to see that aggression,” Bengaluru FC interim coach, Naushad Moosa, said after his first win in ISL 2020-21.

“Our plan was to stay more compact and go on the counter-attack in the first half. We needed to utilise whatever opportunities we got in the first half. We were lucky that we got the two goals.”

Bengaluru FC have struggled to find the back of the net frequently this season. Sunil Chettri has been ineffective but with Brazilian Cleiton Silva returning to form and the team switching to a 4-4-2 from 4-3-3, Bengaluru FC seem to have addressed the concern.

With a two-goal cushion at half time, interim coach Moosa said that the team was upbeat. “The dressing room was very positive at halftime. The smiles on their faces made me feel confident. They were not worried about the win or the loss, they just wanted to play,” Moosa said.