CK Vineeth’s sole strike guided Bengaluru FC to a 1-0 win over Singapore’s Tampines Rovers in the first-leg quarterfinals of the AFC Cup in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
In the match played behind closed doors in the aftermath of the violence the city witnessed on Monday, the hosts ended with full points at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
Vineethh struck in the seventh minute for the home side when he tapped home from close range.
Bengaluru had a slew of chances to extend their lead but, barring the lone strike, had little to show for their possession. The second leg will be played on September 21.
The home team started on a positive note and won an early corner and looked the better team in the opening exchanges. It was Sunil Chhetri’s vision that helped Bengaluru FC set up the goal. The Indian’s through ball found Alwyn George, who set up the onrushing Vineethh, who thumped the ball into the top corner.
Tampines had their first corner of the match in the fifth minute, but could not work it to their advantage, spilling the opportunity after Nishu Kumar cleared Penna’s kick.
After a see-saw battle for the next seven minutes, Tampines had another chance by earning a corner for the second time, but the kick was cleared by Juan Antanio.
Trailing 0-1, the visitors lost the services of their striker Mustafic Fahruddin, who was stretchered off the playing arena in the 20th minute. He was replaced by Mohammad Afiq Bin Yunos.
Notwithstanding the loss of Mustafic, Tampines constantly attacked, but could not get the equaliser.
Jermaine Pennat spilled the third corner, which he took in the 24th minute, after his teammate was found to be in an offside position.
Bengaluru had a wonderful opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute after Chhetri headed down Rino Anto’s cross for Eugeneson Lyngdoh to attack, but the latter’s shot was saved by Mohammad Izwan Bin Mahbud.
Showcasing their form, BFC made a very good move in the 40th minute with Nishu Kumar cutting past his marker and taking a swipe, but his shot deflected the roof of the net for a corner.
In the second half, Tampines had a very good chance of striking the equaliser but Billy Mehmet did not get enough power on his shot in the 50th minute.
Nishu, who put in a solid show down the left flank, was replaced by Lalchhuanmawia in the 53rd minute.
In the final lap of the match, BFC made some inroads. The first move was created by Vineeth after he dribbled past a opposition player, but his shot was inches high of the woodwork.