Chhetri's strike helps Bengaluru FC take down ATK 1-0
Bengaluru: Skipper Sunil Chhetri's stunner in the 39th minute gave Bengaluru FC a 1-0 win over ATK at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.
Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca named an unchanged XI as in-from striker Miku continued to lead the line, flanked by Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh. Edu Garcia slotted in behind Miku with Dimas Delgado and Erik Paartalu providing the midfield cover.
Teddy Sheringham made as many as five changes for the defending champions as Robin Singh was passed fit to partner Robbie Keane up top. Jordi Montel replaced Anwar Ali in central defence while Shankar Sampingraj was preferred ahead of Hitesh Sharma. Keegan Pereira came in for Ashutosh Mehta at left-back while Rupert Nongrum and Zequinha were deployed on either flank as Ryan Taylor was dropped to the bench.
The home side started the match on the front foot and had a half-chance from their very-first corner but Miku's shot on goal was blocked by the ATK defence. They came close a few minutes late through another Edu Garcia corner but defender Juanan's toe-poke went just wide of Debjit Majumder's post.
ATK threatened through a corner of their own after Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh's weak flap fell to Tom Thorpe at the far post but the English defender failed to make a clean connection. Udanta Singh was looking lively on the right side for Bengaluru and Garcia was creating havoc with his corners but the ATK defence held firm in the face of increasing pressure. The visitors had a great chance to snatch the lead in the 26th minute after Robin Singh's lay off from a Zequinha lobbed ball found Rupert in acres of space inside the box but the winger failed to get a clean strike as a great opportunity went begging.