Bengaluru FC ends winless streak as they edge past Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League

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Bengaluru FC, under the guidance of their new head coach Gerard Zaragoza, marked a promising start in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 by securing a 1-0 victory against Jamshedpur FC at the iconic Shree Kanteerava Stadium.

The Saturday double-header of the tenth match week showcased Bengaluru FC’s resilience and strategic prowess, with the team displaying a cohesive performance on both ends of the pitch. The lone goal secured in the encounter reflected their determination and adaptability under Zaragoza’s leadership. This win not only boosts Bengaluru FC’s morale but also sets a positive tone for their future endeavours in the highly competitive ISL season.

Bengaluru FC ends winless streak as they edge past Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League
Javi Hernández of Bengaluru FC celebrates after scoring a goal against Jamshedpur FC

Bengaluru FC looked to start afresh after a change in their managerial role as they met Jamshedpur FC at the Shree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. With just one victory in the last ten games, Bengaluru FC have been struggling to get on the winning throttle this season. With a shameful defeat against Mumbai City FC with a score line of 4-0, the departure of Simon Grayson was official as he was replaced by Spanish tactician, Gerard Zaragoza.

On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC is trying to find consistency this season. They have lost five out of their first nine games and are yet to secure consecutive wins from the matches they have played so far. Jamshedpur FC are in an ongoing cycle to define their identity under Scott Cooper. They have been tight in defence but faced issues in converting their chances into goals. All in all, it was a match-up of two teams who have been under worrying situation this season and were looking to start over again.

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The encounter unfolded as a tense battle right from the start, characterized by Jamshedpur goalkeeper TP Rehenesh’s standout performance in denying Bengaluru FC scoring opportunities. Throughout the season, Rehenesh has consistently stood out for the Red Miners, though the team grapples with a series of unfortunate outcomes.

Hernandez, meanwhile, showcased his prowess in navigating the Jamshedpur defence. A pivotal moment occurred just before halftime when he orchestrated a play on the right flank, delivering a lateral pass to Slavko Damjanović, positioned near Rehenesh. A heavy touch from Damjanović resulted in the ball striking Jamshedpur defender Elsinho’s hand, earning Bengaluru FC a penalty kick at home.

Bengaluru FC ends winless streak as they edge past Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League
A glimpse of Javi Hernández of Bengaluru FC trying to weave his magic at the Shree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru

Bengaluru FC, seeking a breakthrough, relied on the seasoned pair of Sunil Chhetri and Javi Hernandez. In the 37th minute, Chhetri’s impressive free-kick from nearly 30 yards was met with an exceptional save by the fully stretched Rehenesh. The subsequent corner saw Sivasakthi Narayanan netting the ball, only for the goal to be disallowed due to a foul on Rehenesh during the build-up.

Surprisingly, it was Javi Hernandez and not Sunil Chhetri who assumed the responsibility from the 12-yard mark. Prior to this game, Bengaluru FC had secured just one victory in the season, occurring on October 4 against East Bengal FC, where Hernandez had been the key differentiator, netting a spectacular overhead kick for a decisive 71st-minute winner. Similarly, on Saturday, Hernandez confidently struck the ball into the bottom right corner, providing the Blues with a crucial advantage.

In their quest for a comeback, Jamshedpur turned to midfielder Jeremy Monzorro, who had been a consistent threat in the attacking third, averaging 10.4 entries into the penalty box per game in the current season. Around the hour mark, Monzorro attempted a long-range effort, narrowly missing the target as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu dove to cover the goal.

Bengaluru FC ends winless streak as they edge past Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League
Players of Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC fighting it out at the middle in the game at Shree Kanteerava Stadium

In the second half, Gerard Zaragoza opted for a strategic move by substituting Sunil Chhetri and Javi Hernandez with the energetic pair of Monirul Molla and Harsh Patre. The young duo exhibited commendable effort and determination, tirelessly defending and attacking to safeguard Bengaluru FC’s lead until the final whistle. The substitution proved effective as Molla and Patre injected fresh legs and enthusiasm into the team, contributing significantly to Zaragoza’s successful debut as the head coach.

In stoppage time, Monzorro challenged Sandhu once again with a superb free-kick, seemingly bound for the top corner, only for Sandhu to tip it behind. Despite Monzorro beating Sandhu with a curling effort a minute later, the ball ricocheted off the crossbar. In the ensuing play, Elsinho had a chance to redeem his first-half error but directed his shot straight at Sandhu. Bengaluru FC managed to hold on, securing a victory that marked Gerard Zaragoza’s successful initiation as the head coach.

Next up, Bengaluru FC will be squaring off their last game of their season against North-East United FC at home where as Jamshedpur FC will be travelling away to Hyderabad and Odisha to complete their fixtures for the year.


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Ishayu Gupta
Ishayu Gupta
Mohun Bagan, Madrid and more!

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