ISL 5: Rahul Bheke stars as Bengaluru extend winning run to six matches
Rahul Bheke’s night came around in a full circle as Bengaluru FC extended its winning streak to six games with a 2-1 win against Pune City at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Friday.
Bheke scored twice in space of 90 minutes and both were spectacular, proper-striker goals. But while the first that fell into his own net made him the villain, the 89th-minute strike turned him once again into a hero.
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Bengaluru clinched all three points to remain the only side still unbeaten in the league. After eight matches they have 21 points, keeping them on top of the points table, while Pune after 10 games and seven defeats are at the second-last position, one point above Delhi Dynamos.
Pune started well with Marcelinho and Ashique Kuruniyan using the flanks to create opportunities. But the first proper chance to score came for the home team when Hermanjor Khabra found Udanta Singh advancing on the right, having controlled Dimas Delgado’s cross from the back.
The youngster cutback inwards and sent the ball flying into the top corner putting Bengaluru 1-0 ahead inside 11 minutes. Pune though restored parity just four minutes later without an effort of their own. Marko Stankovic’s cross for Robin Singh from the right was redirected into the net by Bheke, who in an attempt to clear, slid the ball into his own goal.
It was all Bengaluru for the remainder of the opening first half but despite Sunil Chhetri and Chencho Gyeltshen coming close, Pune held on to take it back at 1-1. While Pune attacked most through set-pieces, Bengaluru nearly took the lead but Erik Paartalu’s pile-driver rattled the crossbar.
Udanta was the second player to hit the post in the second half with Bengaluru creating enough chances but not being clinical upfront.
Eventually, Rahul Bheke turned up to right the wrong he had committed and scored one minute before the final whistle stretching out to finish a lovely cross from Khabra.