Bengaluru gets a small victory over ATK in the first leg of the ISL semifinal
BENGALURU: defending champions Bengaluru FC recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over ATK in the first stage of his hero Indian Super League semifinal shock in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.
Deshorn Brown's opportunist attack (31 minutes) proved to be the difference in what was a very close-knit battle.
Edu García started an even contest with a shot from outside the area that was extended in the second minute.
Bengaluru soon made his presence felt when Dimas Delgado threw a dangerous ball into the box. Rahul Bheke climbed the tallest inside the box, but his header flew inches above the crossbar.
ATK's dangerous duo, Roy Krishna and David Williams, combined well to put the ball in the net in the 17th minute. Krishna found his teammate with a timely pitch behind the Blues defense. Williams drove the ball when he knocked it down and hit it brilliantly Gurpreet Singh Sandhu , but the goal was finally rejected due to handball.
The hosts continued to put pressure on the ATK defense and their effort bore fruit a minute after the half an hour mark.
Gurpreet's punch from his own half ended up at the feet of Juanan whose shot from inside the box was hit straight at Arindam Bhattacharya. The ATK custodian messed up the save and spilt the ball into the path of Thaw brown , who broke the deadlock.
Brown had a chance to double his team's lead when he received the ball outside the box before the break. The striker unleashed a piledriver that flew inches over the bar, much to the relief of Arindam in ATK 's goal.
As ATK pressed for an equalizer after the break, Bengaluru tried to make use of the vacant space in the visitors' defense.
Three minutes after the restart, Brown clung to a ball behind the defense, cut from the right and threw a cross to the left side of the box to Sunil chhetri , whose header was overturned by Arindam.
John Johnson nearly unlocked the Blues defense with a wonderful diagonal ball after the hour-mark into the feet of Michael Soosairaj. The Indian winger tried to beat his marker from the left flank, but Suresh Wangjam put in a good block to clear the danger and stop the ATK winger's charge.
ATK struggled to make use of the ball in the final stages of the game and allowed Bengaluru to hit them on the counter.
Arindam made peace for his previous fumble with a brilliant save to deny the effort with Kevaughn Frater's left from the edge of the area.
Bangalore suffered a late blow when Nishu Kumar was sent to pull Krishna. The Fiji striker was knocked out of the area by the full back and the last man's challenge was punished by the referee.
ATK, however, were unable to force an equalizer and now have to come from behind in the reverse leg in Kolkata next Sunday.