BENGALURU FC ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF INDIA - THE INDIAN LEAGUE

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

BENGALURU FC ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF INDIA

Bengaluru FC clinch their 2nd I-League title in three years as they defeat Salgaocar FC 2-0 in front of their home crowd. With this win, Bengaluru FC have an unassailable lead over the 2nd placed, Mohun Bagan. They are on top with 32 points in 15 games where as the Kolkata based club can only reach 30 points even if they defeat Bengaluru on 23rd.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh (8') opened up the scoring for the Blues in the early minutes of the game taking advantage of an out of position Karanjit Singh. Len Doungel, who came in as substitute for the North Korean, Kim Song Yong, doubled their lead in the 87th minute after he tapped in a pass from Skipper, Sunil Chhetri.

This win means that Bengaluru FC's Round 18 match against Mohun Bagan, to be played at Siliguri's Kanchenjunga Stadium, is now only a formality and they will be crowned the Champions of India, whatever may be the result of that match.

Ashley Westwood completely overhauled the squad from the one that played against Ayeyawady United in their AFC Cup clash. Amrinder Singh replaced Lalthuanmawia between the sticks. Curtis Osano and John Johnson came back in their defensive duties.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Michael Collins also were back in their familiar roles of mid field with Udanta Singh and Malsawmzuala as wingers. Skipper Chhetri and Kim Song Yong formed the team's attack.

Salgaocar FC's Head Coach, Santosh Kashyap, was forced to bench his most successful striker, Daryll Duffy, who scored  11 out of their 16 goals this season, due to injury. Compatriot Martin Scott came in as his replacement.

Bengaluru FC won a couple of free kicks in the first few minutes but none went on to become any threat for the opposition.

The 11,500 fans in the stadium didn't had to wait much longer for the opening goal. Eugeneson Lyngdoh scored his third goal after his come back from injury. Karanjit Singh punched the ball outside the box only for it to fall in front of an incoming Eugeneson who shot it into the nets with the out of position Karanjit becoming a mere spectator.

Jackichand Singh tried to make it Even-Stevens in the 17th minute as he outfoxed a couple of Bengaluru FC player and took a shot on goal, only for the ball to fly away of the box.

Kim Song Yong had a chance to double the Blues lead in the 21st minute when he received the ball inside the box from Chuantea's throw in. His first shot was blocked by Leny Pereira but the ball landed again in front of the North Korean who passed it to Chhetri, but before any damage could be done, Eder Monteiro cleared the ball.

Salgaocar FC made the first substitution of the match as the U22 player Alson Oliveira was replaced by Brian Mascarenhas.

Bengaluru FC had another chance to go 2-0 up in the 36th minute. Sunil Chhetri passed the ball to Kim from the left edge of the box but Eder Monteiro cleared the ball only for it to reach Collins outside the box. The ensuing shot was saved by Karanjit Singh, who dived left to deny the goal to Bengaluru.

The match went into half time with no further changes to the scoreboard.

In the other match of the evening, Mumbai FC defeated Shillong Lajong FC 2-1, to keep their chances of avoiding relegation alive. Mumbai FC now have 16 points in 15 matches and sit at 7th position in the league table.

Mumbai FC took the lead in the 41st minute when Steven Dias curled in a free kick into the top left corner of the goal post. Shillong equalised in the 58th minute when the Brazilian forward scored from the spot after being awarded a penalty by the referee when Anwar Ali fouled him inside the box.

Mumbai regained the lead in the 86th minute when Min Chol Son headed Steven Dias's free kick, which should have been easily collected by the Lajong keeper, Vishal Kaith but he spilled the ball into the nets.

This win means that Mumbai FC will need only a draw in their next match against DSK Shivajians to be played next week at Cooperage Stadium, to keep them afloat in India's Premier League.

Shillong Lajong on the other hand will have to win against East Bengal when they face the Kolkata club on 24th April on their home ground. A draw will leave a lot on other teams results to save them from relegation.