I-League: Chhetri stars in Bengaluru's win
Hosts Bengaluru FC showed no mercy to their guests and Federation Cup winners Churchill Brothers as they struck thrice during a stirring second-half display to consolidate their position at the top of the I-League table here Saturday.
The vociferous home crowd had plenty to cheer about, especially in the second session, when Ashley Westwood's 'boys in blue' turned on the heat to score through skipper Sunil Chhetri (56, 90) and Robin Singh (61) as Churchill went down rather tamely 3-0.
Chhetri, who is in impressive form, followed up his double-strike in a friendly against Bangladesh last week, with yet another grand performance, displaying a fine sense of opportunism in the process.
After a barren first-half, Chhetri was on hand to put away a deflection off a cross from Robin Singh, who had muffed a sitter a little earlier, to put Bengaluru in the front in the 56th minute.
Robin Singh then got into the act as he went in on a through ball, sweeping past the defence to tuck the ball into the corner as Bengaluru consolidated their position.
Hereabouts, Westwood substituted his lead striker Sean Rooney with C.K. Vineeth, a move that reflected not only the coach's confidence in his team but also the options he had in removing the team's top scorer.
Thereafter, both teams failed to convert a couple of scoring chances that came their way and nearing close of the regulation period, Chhetri scored a near identical goal, his second of the match as he lashed a clearance off Robin Singh effort for Bengaluru's insurance goal.
The two minutes of stoppage time provided no further goalmouth action as Bengaluru comfortably played out the game to run out deserving winners while taking their tally to 34 points from 18 matches, 10 of which they won. Churchill remained on 15.
(Posted on 08-03-2014)