Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], August 18 (ANI): Captain Sunil Chhetri and new signing Roy Krishna were on target as ten-man Bengaluru FC beat Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in the Group A encounter in the Durand Cup 2022 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday.
The Red Miners who fielded their youth team in the competition were energetic and brave on the ball right from the outset but were undone by goals from Chhetri (23') and Krishna (56'). Another Blues debutant Hira Mondal though received a red card after two bookable offences reducing Simon Grayson's side to ten men.
Jamshedpur FC then reduced the deficit with a goal from Rishi (61') to make a real game of it but the experienced Blues held on for the win.
The Jamshedpur FC youngsters tried to build from the back from the start but Bengaluru FC made it hard for them with their pressing. The Blues had a great chance to take the lead in the 13th minute when Udanta Singh set up Danish Farooq for a shot only to see it blocked. The rebound then fell for Udanta who was denied thanks to some last-ditch defending from Jamshedpur FC.
The Blues broke through in the 23rd minute when Chhetri headed home a cross from Prabir Das - another new signing - who got his first assist in blue.
Bengaluru FC then had a big chance to double their lead just before the break when Suresh Singh Wangjam shot wide from a Leon Augustine cross that Chhetri had allowed to run and reach Suresh.
Aleksander Jovanovic and Krishna came on in the second half and the latter had an instant impact as he combined with Chhetri whose backheel was sent into the net by the Fijian who doubled the lead in the 56th minute.
Mondal then received a red card at the hour mark and it opened the door for a Jamshedpur FC comeback as Rishi pulled a goal back just a minute later.
The Jamshedpur FC goalscorer nearly pulled his team level four minutes from time as he headed a corner goalwards but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu produced a fine save to deny him and hand Bengaluru FC all three points and a winning start in the Durand Cup.
Bengaluru FC next face Indian Air Force FC on Tuesday while Jamshedpur FC take on Mohammedan SC two days earlier. (ANI)