Birthday boy Gurpreet Singh Sandhu shines as Bengaluru strike lucky against ATK
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The goalkeeper was the star performer as the Blues consolidated their lead at the top of the table.
Bengaluru FC went four points clear at the top of the table after handing ATK their 4th consecutive loss in the Indian Super League by beating them 2-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. An early comical own goal from Jordi Montel and a 2nd half strike from Miku was enough to bag all three points for Albert Roca’s men.
So let’s take a look at the Player Ratings for the match.
Watch: ATK 0-2 Bengaluru FC highlights
Debjit Majumder- 5.0
Majumder wasn’t at all convincing on the day and wasn’t helped by his error-prone defense. His day got off to a terrible start when Jordi’s clearance ended up in his net, but it would be harsh to say that’s his fault. But Majumder looked shaky throughout the match and later in the half poorly gave away possession to Bengaluru, which almost cost him. “Savejit” couldn’t really pull off any “super saves” and failed to do anything to deny Miku in the 2nd half either and had another day to forget in between the posts.
Ashutosh Mehta- 6.5
Ashutosh got the nod ahead of Prabir Das on the day and had a rather decent day in defense for the defending champions. Mehta kept both Sunil Chettri and Garcia at bay on the right flank but was poor going on the offense.
He couldn’t put any memorable crosses, with his defensive outing being the noticeable thing about his performance. Mehta made 2 clearances and blocks, including an amazing goal-line clearance in the 2nd half when ATK were 1-0 down to keep some hope in the game and got the “Moment of the Match” award for his heroics.
Keegan Pereira- 5.5
Keegan Pereira had a difficult challenge ahead of him being up against the pacy Udanta Singh and he lost concentration early on, failing to mark the BFC winger who made a darting run and played in the ball which was comically put into the net by Jordi. Keegan looked better going on the offensive and his passes were on point, but he couldn’t contest against Udanta in the first half. He got some breathing space when Udanta was subbed and Bheke was sent off for BFC but failed to do anything spectacular for ATK even after gaining the man advantage.
Darren Caldeira- 6.0
Darren Caldeira had to face off against some intimidating opposition in the midfield battle but surprisingly held his own against the big-name midfielders of Bengaluru. Caldeira’s passing was on point and he rarely made any miss-passes in the center of the park and retained the ball really well for his team.
He also made a few crunching tackles and asserted dominance for a while in midfield, but failed to create any big chances for his team. Caldeira was a bit unfortunate to get subbed off after sustaining an injury in the 2nd half, but his performances has possibly boosted his chances of starting in the next games.
Rupert Nongrum- 5.5
Rupert was a key factor in ATK’s attempt at winning the midfield battle on the day, as he played the more attacking role in midfield but failed to do anything for the defending champions. Nongrum was bested in midfield by BFC’s midfielders, who bullied him off the ball on numerous occasions in the first half.
He failed to properly play the role of the creative midfielder for ATK and couldn’t create a single chance for his team. Nongrum was subbed in the 54th minute by Ashley Westwood, who didn’t look to be happy at all with the midfielders’ dismal performance.
Jayesh Rane- 7.0
Jayesh Rane is finalRly starting to live up to the standards expected from him, as the former Aizawl player churned out another sparkling performance for the other-wise bland ATK on the day. Rane looked dangerous right from the get-go and made things difficult for Bengaluru with his trickery.
He created a few dangerous chances for ATK, but they couldn’t finish off any of them. Rane came to life late in the first half when his header struck the post and the rebound was brilliantly cleared by Bheke. Rane got another chance in the 2nd half only to be denied by the brilliant Bheke, but his performance was the only shining light for ATK, who were otherwise terrible in attack.
Bipin Singh- 6.5
Bipin Singh got his chance to shine against the league-leaders and did pretty well in the first half where he created a few good chances for ATK. Bipin did pretty well on the right wing and did well to link with his midfielders. He created the big chance for Rane in the first half when he tucked in and produced an amazing cross from the right-flank and was unlucky not to get an assist on the day. Singh was someone who was trying to create something for ATK on the day and had a decent outing for them before being substituted in the 2nd half.
Komal Thatal- 6.0
The Indian U-17 star came on in the 77th minute and looked to be filled with positive energy. He looked electric in the wings for ATK and did well to go past BFC’s defense on one occasion, but couldn’t churn up a chance for his side. Thatal seems to be improving with every passing match and could get a start quite soon if he keeps on impressing in his short cameos for the club.
Shankar Sampingraj- 6.0
Shankar Sampingraj was brought in to bring something different to ATK’s midfield against his former side with around 10 minutes remaining, but he did well to make his presence felt in the short period. His passing was pretty good and he even created a chance for the defending champions, who couldn’t do anything with it.
With Ashley Westwood seemingly keen on giving everyone a chance, the promising performance on the day could see the former Kerala Blasters player get some more chances in the future.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Hero of the Match
The Birthday Boy proved why he’s India’s #1 with a stunning outing at the Salt Lake stadium, where he absolutely shoved off any threat ATK could churn up on the day. Gurpreet seemed to have injured himself in around the 20th minute, but picked himself up and delivered a stunning performance after that.
He made an amazing save to deny Ryan Taylor’s venomous shot in the first half, with his handling and distribution of the ball being stellar as well. Sandu would go on to make 3 more important saves to keep his clean-sheet and was adjourned as the “Hero of the Match’ for his superb antics to help BFC gain another crucial away win and go 4 points clear off the top.
Rahul Bheke- 7.0
It was a very topsy-turvy game for Bengaluru’s right-back who was an absolute rock for them before losing his mind in the 2nd half. Bheke did really well to contain the in-form Rane, whom he marked and contained superbly. Bheke couldn’t deny Rane from hitting the header which struck the post but made up for it by making an amazing last-ditch challenge to stop him from scoring the rebound.
He continued making some vital clearances but was sent off in the 2nd half after attempting a poorly timed tackle despite being on a yellow card. Bheke was BFC’s best defender up until his red card, but his bad decision making got his side in an uncomfortable position for a while.
Subhashish Bose- 7.0
Subhashish Bose’s return to the Salt Lake Stadium proved to be a fortuitous one as he had a really good outing for Bengaluru FC. Subhashish dealt with the threat of Bipin Singh really well and contained him throughout most of the game and made a dangerous run from the left-wing in the first half, almost resulting in a goal.
The former Mohun Bagan defender looked in control throughout the game and made 7 clearances on the day, as well as 4 vital interceptions! He was superb defensively as well as on the attack whenever needed and won the “Emerging Player of the Match” award for his brilliant showing.
Lenny Rodrigues- 7.0
Lenny Rodrigues put in a hard-working performance for the league-leaders on the day and added the much-needed steel to their midfield to oust ATK. Lenny had to be on the defense throughout most of the game and did really well to contain the defending champions. His passing was on point and he had an amazing passing accuracy of 89% on the day, proving how good of a passer he really is.
Rodrigues showed a lot of energy throughout the game, making 2 tackles to win the ball of ATK in more than one occasion. He went through a surging run late in the game but failed to put the finishing touches, but his general work in midfield for BFC was absolutely solid.
Udanta Singh- 6.5
Udanta Singh continued proving why he’s regarded as “The Flash” for Bengaluru with another electric performance for them to sink ATK. Udanta looked extremely dangerous whenever he got the ball and he churned a chance out of nothing when he received a good lofted pass from midfield and forced Jordi to make that error for the own goal.
Udanta often covered for Bheke really well and continued testing Keegan, who was having a tough time dealing with him. The winger was given some rest when taken off in the 2nd half, but he was once again clinical in playing his part in securing 3 pts for his team.
Sunil Chhetri- 6.0
Captain Fantastic had a relatively quiet day at the office for Bengaluru FC and was surprisingly kept that way by ATK. Chhetri wasn’t that good by his standards and couldn’t get himself into any goal-scoring positions in the match where he played the more defensive role among the two strikers.
Chhetri did create one big chance for BFC, but the Blues couldn’t really do anything with it. BFC’s captain had to be taken off for the more defensive Nishu Kumar after they were reduced to 10 men and he’ll definitely want to improve in the next match.
Boithang Haokip- 6.5
Boithang Haokip was brought in by Bengaluru to help to cover Rahul Bheke after the defender picked up a yellow card in the 2nd half. But Bheke’s red card would force him to play as a right-back for the rest of the game, something which he did really well. He contained Jayesh Rane and everyone who tried to penetrate through BFC’s fractured right-wing. Haokip also made a crucial block to keep away a shot from ATK and made sure BFC kept their CS and cruised home in the end.
Nishu Kumar- 6.0
Kumar was brought in for Sunil Chhetri to help give defensive cover for BFC, who were desperate at holding onto their lead. The defender did really well after coming on and gave some much-needed protection at the back for the Blues, even making a crucial clearance as well and making a decent impression in his cameo.
Published: Sun Feb 04, 2018 02:25 PM IST