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Javi helps BFC snap winless streak

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC snapped their winless streak with a 1-0 win over Jamshedpur FC at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Saturday.

Javi Hernandez’s penalty in the 44th minute helped the rejuvenated Blues bag full points with a punchy display.

BFC lined up in a 4-3-1-2 formation. Sivasakthi Narayanan and Sunil Chhetri were deployed up front, with Javi playing as the central attacking midfielder.

BFC head coach Gerard Zaragoza tightened things in defence, and started Jessel Carneiro at left-back.

The Blues’ centre-backs Aleksandar Jovanovic and Slavko Damjanovic played long balls in search of Chhetri and Narayanan. Overall, there was more zip and conviction in the passes.

The midfielders were quick to win second balls, resulting in the hosts creating a series of chances, but the composure in the final third was amiss.

For the visitors, Jeremy Manzorro constantly dropped deep to spray passes forward to Daniel Chima Chukwu and Alen Stevanovic.

BFC piled on the pressure late in the first half. Chhetri’s free-kick was pushed wide by Jamshedpur ‘keeper TP Rehenesh. Sivasakthi directed the ball into the net, but the goal was chalked off for a foul on Rehenesh.

With Zaragoza back at the helm, it was befitting that the first goal was created through a well-worked set-piece.

Jamshedpur failed to adequately deal with the sheer numbers in blue attacking a corner, and as Damjanovic looked to shoot, the ball struck Elsinho on the hand and a penalty was awarded.

Javi made no mistake from the spot and handed the hosts a deserved lead. Zaragoza’s men continued to dominate proceedings in the second half, while Scott Cooper made three half-time changes.

Chhetri had a golden chance to double the advantage after Carneiro played him in, but the captain miscued his shot. Minutes later, Manzorro’s volley from a distance shaved the top of the cross-bar.

The visitors looked a threat from set-pieces, banking on Manzorro and Rei Tachikawa’s pin-point deliveries, and created a host of chances in stoppage-time, but the Blues held firm to pocket three precious points. 

Result: Bengaluru FC: 1  (Javi Hernandez 44th) bt Jamshedpur FC: 0. 

Bengaluru FCBengaluru FCBengaluru FC(Published 16 December 2023, 15:55 IST)

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