A resolute Bengaluru FC were undone by a Hugo Boumous goal (67’) as Simon Grayson’s men suffered a second successive defeat in the Indian Super League, going down to Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the VYBK, in Kolkata, on Wednesday.
Any hopes of a comeback seemed bleak when the Blues had Suresh Wangjam sent off in the 75th minute(second yellow), and were then finally erased after Naorem Roshan Singh was shown a straight red towards the end of the game.
Both Bengaluru and Bagan made three changes to the sides that played their season openers, with Simon Grayson opting to begin with Javi Hernandez, Curtis Main, and Parag Shrivas. The hosts, meanwhile, had Hugo Boumous, Manvir Singh, and Anirudh Thapa in their plans, while Brendan Hamill, Glan Martins and Asish Rai were relegated to the bench.
The Blues took the game to Bagan early on, closing down the midfield and pushing numbers in attack. The first chance of the fixture fell to Roshan Singh, deployed down the left flank, who latched onto a pass from Main in the 11th minute and forced Vishal Kaith into a superb save with a low drive.
At the other end, Liston Colaco had the hosts’ first effort of the evening when, after combining with Boumous on the counter, his attempt to curl into the far corner came up short. The best chance of the first half fell to Bengaluru at the half-hour mark when Rohit Kumar found himself at the end of a scramble in the box, only for Anirudh Thapa to clear his effort off the line.
The Mariners looked to find an opening through Dimi Petratos and Jason Cummings, but came up against a stubborn Blues’ backline marshaled by Slavko Damjanovic, who won every duel that came his way through the first period.
Into the second half, Bagan had an appeal for a penalty turned down and rightly so, when Petratos tripped on his own leg and went down. The hosts, however, did manage to break the deadlock and a resolute Bengaluru defence when Boumous - picked out by Cummings after a clearance fell to the Australian - slotted past Gurpreet calmly to make it 1-0.
Both sides made triple substitutions as the Mariners replaced goalscorer Boumous, Anwar Ali and Cummings with Hamill, Martins and Armando Sadiku. The visitors brought on Ryan Williams, Harsh Patre and Sivasakthi, with Hernandez, Rohit and Jessel Carneiro making way.
But the sending offs of Wangjam and Roshan dented any hopes of a comeback, even as Bengaluru risked a counter attack by pushing men forward in pursuit of an equaliser.
The Blues return to Bengaluru where they will face East Bengal FC in their first home fixture, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, on October 4th.
Bengaluru FC Media Release