The win saw the Blues climb up to second on the table with nine points from five games while Kerala Blasters, winless after the opening match, are at seventh. The away side showed plenty of intent right from the start, pressing Bengaluru hard and forcing mistakes from the reigning champions. The first chance did fall for Kerala Blasters when Sergio Cidoncha picked out Rahul KP at the far post with a lovely cross. However, the youngster mistimed his header and the chance went begging. MATCH REPORT
74' - What a save!
That was going in if not for TP Rehenesh. What a save as he stops Raphael Augusto, who had fired in an absolute blaster from a Udanta Singh through ball.
Meanwhile, Kerala looking to change a few things!
Mohammed Rafi comes on for Abdul Hakku and Vlatko Drobarov in place of Mohamad Rakip.
HALF-TIME! It is goalless at the break between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC.
It has been non-stop action at both ends of the pitch so far but neither team has a goal to score for it.
Bartholomew Ogbeche and Raphael Messi have had chances to put Kerala ahead but so have Ashique Kuruniyan, Raphael Augusto and Sunil Chhetri for Bengaluru!
34' - Magic Feet!
What trickery from Ashique Kuruniyan. He goes left, he goes right and then nutmegs the clueless defender for good measure! He is brought down although illegally and Bengaluru FC get a free-kick. Nothing comes through from the set-piece.
Mohamad Rakip gets a yellow card for his tackle!
15' - Chance!
What a chance for Kerala Blasters to take the lead. Bartholomew Ogbeche gets the ball in mid-field and sprays it wide on the left to Raphael Messi, who squares it back in the middle with a driven low ball. It is just inches from Ogbeche's outstretched sliding foot and us from the opening goal!
Points, as well as pride, will be at stake as the two southern rivals Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC, lock horns for the first time this season.
Bengaluru will be confident about getting another three points after a win in their last outing in the league (against Chennayin FC). Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, will be looking to return to winning ways having failed to register a victory in their last three games.
Kerala Blasters FC Starting XI - T.P. Rehenesh; Mohammad Rakip, Raju Gaikwad, Abdul Hakku, Jessel Carneiro; Prasanth, Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Sergio Cidoncha; Bartholomew Ogbeche, Raphael Messi
Bengaluru FC Starting XI - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Harmanjot Khabra, Albert Serran, Juanan, Nishu Kumar; Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado; Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Raphael Augusto; Sunil Chhetri.
Bengaluru FC (Photo Credit: ISL)
Bengaluru, after a slow start, started to get more on the ball and create chances. They thought they had the lead in the 28th minute when Harmanjot Khabra played Udanta Singh free down the right wing. The winger's cross from the byline was headed in by Raphael Augusto, but the linesman deemed the ball to have gone over the line before Udanta got the cross in.
An unfazed Kerala continued to ask questions of the Bengaluru defence. But there were nervous moments for the away side in defence too. Albert Serran headed over from point-blank range after Augusto pulled back a ball from the byline in the 36th minute.
Six minutes later, Messi Bouli wriggled clear of Albert Serran to latch on to a long goal kick from Rehenesh TP, finding himself one-on-one with Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. But the Cameroonian blazed over, much to the disappointment of the away side fans.
Bengaluru finished an action-packed half with Chhetri hitting the side-netting from close range seconds before the whistle. The Indian captain, however, was not to be denied 10 minutes after the re-start.
Nobody picked out Chhetri from a Dimas Delgado corner as he placed a diving header expertly into the bottom corner to send the home crowd into raptures.
That goal broke Kerala Blasters' rhythm as Bengaluru started creating chances galore. They should have scored a second within three minutes of Chhetri's goal when Rehenesh gave away the ball cheaply inside his own box. Dimas received the ball and took a shot at goal, but Raju Gaikwad blocked it heroically.
Eelco Schattorie sent in Sahal Abdul Samad to change things around and Kerala did have a great chance to equalise. Messi dispossessed Serran and picked out Rahul who sidestepped Nishu Kumar's challenge, but dragged a left-footed effort just wide.
But the home side continued to find space behind the Kerala defence. Udanta surged past Jessel Carneiro in the 73rd minute and picked out Augusto with a cut-back but the latter's first-time shot was brilliantly saved by Rehenesh to keep Kerala in the game.
Bengaluru, however, saw off the rest of the game with ease to claim full three points.
06 Dec, 2019 | West Indies in India WI vs IND 207/520.0 overs 209/418.4 oversIndia beat West Indies by 6 wickets
29 Nov - 02 Dec, 2019 | Pakistan in Australia AUS vs PAK 589/3127.0 overs 302/1094.4 oversAustralia beat Pakistan by an innings and 48 runs
29 Nov - 03 Dec, 2019 | England in New Zealand NZ vs ENG 375/10129.1 overs 476/10162.5 oversNew Zealand drew with England
27 - 29 Nov, 2019 | Afghanistan and West Indies in India AFG vs WI 187/1068.3 overs 277/1083.3 oversWest Indies beat Afghanistan by 9 wickets
22 - 24 Nov, 2019 | Bangladesh in India BAN vs IND 106/1030.3 overs 347/989.4 oversIndia beat Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs