Full-time report: Miku
started where he left. Last season, the Venezuelan forward found the back of the net 15 times, and now already has a goal to his name after scoring in the very first match of Indian Super League's 2018-19 season. The 33-year-old forward's goal was the only one in the match between Bengaluru
FC and Chennaiyin
FC at Kanteerava stadium, with the contest touted to be a revenge affair for the men in blue, who lost last year's final to Chennai.
But Sunday night was a welcome change for Sunil Chhetri
and Co. who outplayed the visitors, especially during the second half and Miku's goal was the cherry on the top that helped them wrap up the night with full three points and climb to the second spot in points table.
FC started the game positively but Chennai looked to take control of the game as the minutes passed by. Jeje had two glorious opportunities to give his team the lead. The first chance came as soon as the 17th minute when Nelson put a delicious-looking through-ball, leaving Jeje in a one-on-one situation but the Chennai captain's chipped shot (or pass?) went off target and Germanpreet who was rushing to the far post failed to get there on time. Jeje had a chance at redemption in the 32nd minute when he intercepted a poor backpass by Bengaluru's but this time his first touch failed him as he looked to round the goalkeeper.
The only goal came out of nowhere when in the 40th minute, Miku
latched on to a pass, outran Chennai's Gregory Nelson and fired his shot at the bottom of the net's roof. Bengaluru
took charge of the proceedings in the second half and initiated waves of attack after attack. Chhetri, who had been quiet during the night, got a glorious chance in the 71st minute. The Indian captain was left alone in the box and received a good pass but failed to control the ball in time, allowing the Chennai defenders to take the ball off him.
Having assured a point, the home team sat back in the final 10 minutes, happy with pinging the ball out of their defensive line, and try as they might, the Chennayin players and their captain Jeje could neither create nor score that elusive goal.
In the end, Chennayin paid the price for the opportunities they missed and Bengaluru were rewarded for the handsome strike their star forward Miku
made. Before the game, Bengaluru FC
coach Carles Cuadrat had dismissed the talk of this match being a revenge match for Bengaluru who would have wanted to give it back after falling against Chennai in last year's final.
"We do not want to treat the clash as a revenge match as we do not want to be emotional about the final which lost against Chennaiyin
last year. To be emotional is not good for the team, instead, focus is what is needed," Cuadrat had said. But the celebrations at the end of the game defied the manager's word, who himself seemed elated. But that's okay, after all, what's football without a spoonful of passion and a bottle of revenge, eh?