Bengaluru FC rode on an Udanta Singh late goal to extend their unbeaten streak and climb to the top of points table with a 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos at the Kanteerava Stadium on Monday.
It was the youngster’s perfect tribute to his idol and club captain Sunil Chhetri, who was playing his 150th game for the South Indian club. Bengaluru has 19 points from seven matches and are the only side yet to lose a game this season.
Delhi after their fifth defeat in nine games continue to remain at the bottom with just four points from one win and a draw.
Chhetri nearly put the home team ahead in the eighth minute but his weak effort from a Xisco Hernandez cross failed to test Delhi goalkeeper Albino Gomes, keeping the home fans anxious for a perfect ending on a special night for their skipper.
But from there it was Delhi, who set the tone of the match with relentless attacks that surprisingly bore little or no fruit.
The visitors’ first opportunity to score came in the 15th minute when Lallianzuala Chhangte set up Adria Carmona inside the box but the Spaniard’s shot was directed straight at goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
12 minutes later, the Dynamos had their best opportunity of the first half after skipper Pritam Kotal found Andrija Kaluderovic from a counter but the Serbian failed to capitalise on the opportunity. Chhangte also had a one-on-one situation but failed to beat Gurpreet after Carmona set him up.
But despite plenty of chances, Delhi failed to break the deadlock even as Bengaluru hung by the thread.
The second half failed to deliver the same excitement as the first with both the teams struggling to create chances.
Erik Paartalu’s introduction in the second half brought some stability to home team’s midfield but the home team still a pale shadow of the side they have been this ISL season.
Bengaluru’s best opportunity came in the 69th minute when Udanta Singh’s clever chip found Xisco unmarked inside the Delhi box but the Spaniard failed to convert an easy opportunity.
Then in the 86th minute, Udanta Singh jumped onto a loose ball and fired a low shot from outside the box, which took a wicked deflection off Marti Crespi before hitting the post and sailing into the net.