Bengaluru, Jan 18 (PTI): Star striker C K Vineeth’s hat-trick helped defending champions Bengaluru FC trounce Mumbai FC 3-0 in a third round match of the I-League at Sree Kanteerava stadium here today. Also Read - ISL 2020/21: Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri score as Bengaluru condemn Odisha to 5th defeat
With this win, Bengaluru are now perched at the top of the points table with nine points from three matches.
Vineeth struck in the 45th, 57th and 65th minutes in a match dominated by the home side for most part. The Kerala striker smashed home his first goal as he found himself unmarked after Cameron Watson crossed the ball straight to him. Also Read - ISL 2020/21: Bengaluru FC Clip Kerala Blasters Wings in Six-Goal Thriller
For his second goal, Vineeth calmly slotted the ball home from point-blank range after Harmanjot Singh Khabra played a beautiful cross. It was actually Udanta Singh who created the chance by first giving a pass to Khabra. Also Read - ISL 2020/21: Machado Nets Brace as NorthEast Salvage 2-2 Draw Against Bengaluru
Before Sandesh Jhingan came in for Khabra, the full right back once again came into the act. Vineeth, for the third time, got beautiful through ball from Khabra and he took a lovely first touch to calmly place the ball to the left of the keeper, leaving him no chance.
Vineeth missed his fourth goal of the match after his shot came off a Mumbai defender after Nishu Kumar played a good cross in 79th minute.
As usual, Bengaluru began their match giving stress on ball possession and made several forays into the rival citadel, but to no avail as Mumbai were equally good at dealing with the regular onslaughts.
Bengaluru had a golden opportunity to go one up in the 27th minute as Vineeth took a shy with his left first time but it flew over after Sunil Chhetri delicately slid one in for him.
Half an hour into the match, Mumbai looked much better with plenty of time on the ball. In contrast, Bengaluru went into a shell and needed to shift gears and attack more. The ball seems to be moving around only in the Bengaluru half.
In 36th minute, Hanghal volleyed one at the side of the Bengaluru net and in 38th, Shallum Pires played a dangerous low cross but a home side defender cleared the ball.
In the 43rd minute, Rodrigues sent a long ball out onto the right flank, where Khabra headed the ball down to Udanta who tried to cross from a good position, but the ball came off the defender giving a corner to the home team.
Mumbai must be disappointed to have conceded right at the dying moments of the first half, though they played pretty well.
The Bengaluru defence looked absolutely solid in the past two games and did the same today.