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ISL: Bengaluru FC make it six in a row, back in top five with a win over Kerala Blasters

Bengaluru FC posted their sixth consecutive win, a 1-0 triumph against Kerala Blasters at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. Roy Krishna’s first half strike was enough for the Blues in what was an intense battle at the Fortress. 

Earlier, Blues’ boss Simon Grayson made a change to his starting eleven for the first time in six games, as Bruno Ramires started in place of the suspended Suresh Singh Wangjam. 

Playing in front of a packed crowd of more than 28,000, the visitors had most of the possession and chances in the opening 20 minutes, with Grayson’s side looking more intent to play on the counterattack. 

But, it was the home team who almost opened the scoring against the run of play in the 26th minute. Sandesh Jhingan rose highest to head a cross from a Javi free kick, but the defender’s effort struck the crossbar before Roy Krishna’s shot off the rebound was blocked for a corner by Victor Mongil. 

The chance gave the Blues some impetus and they made it count when Krishna put Bengaluru in the lead just past the half hour mark. The Fijian found a pocket of space on the right, and showed strength and composure to first outmuscle Hormipam Ruivah and then thread the ball between Prabshukhan Gill and the near post from a tight angle. 

Having claimed the lead, the Blues showed good defensive resilience to see out the rest of the half and protect the advantage as the two teams made their way down to the tunnel. 

Ivan Vukomanovic’s side started the second half in the same way as they started the first, pressing high up the pitch and showing good energy. But the home side stood firm to defend their lead. Chances were few and far between for both sides.

Sahal Abdul Samad came close when his left footed strike took a slight deflection off Sandesh Jhingan only to fall straight into the hands of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. A few minutes later, Naorem Roshan Singh showed his pace to get behind the Kerala backline. The Bengaluru wing-back cut into the box and placed a shot at the near post which was parried away by Gill. In the 65th minute, Alan Costa headed wide from a corner kick. 

With the game in the balance, tempers flared on the pitch as both sides went at it with all they had. The Kerala Blasters were the first to make substitutions to try and get themselves back into the game, with Vukomanovic bringing on Bryce Miranda for Rahul KP in the 73rd minute, and then making a triple substitution in the 82nd minute as Danish Farooq, Saurav Mandal, and Apostolos Giannou came on for Sahal Abdul Samad, Nishu Kumar and Ivan Kaliuzhnyi. 

The Blues made their only changes of the game in the 87th minute, as Udanta Singh and Pablo Perez replaced Sivasakthi and Bruno Ramires to add some pace and see out the remaining minutes as the Blues held onto their lead. 

Simon Grayson’s side moved into fifth spot in the Hero ISL standings with 28 points. They find themselves just three points behind the Blasters who occupy third spot on the table.

Bengaluru will next face Mumbai City FC at the Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday, 15th February. 

Bengaluru FC Media Release

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