Stallions defender Baljit Sahni was sent off in the second half which tilted the balance in the game.
Bengaluru FC secured their position at the top of the table in the Hero Indian Super League after fighting back from a goal down to edge past 10-man FC Pune City 3-1 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune, on Thursday.
Adil Khan put FC Pune City in the lead in the 35th minute, and the home team looked to be the better side in the first 45 minutes. The match, however, turned on its head in the second session after Pune defender Baljit Sahni was sent off for a second yellow card in the 56th minute.
The hero, once again, for Bengaluru FC was Venezuelan forward Miku who scored two goals, in the 64th and 78th minutes of the game, while Sunil Chhetri hammered the final nail in the last minute of play. Bengaluru FC have now opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table. They have 12 points from five matches.
Watch: FC Pune City 1-3 Bengaluru FC
The ISL debutants didn’t look entirely convincing in the first session as they gave away the ball cheaply and looked fragile at the back. The defensive line was making uncharacteristic mistakes, giving Pune a clear look at the goal.
Bengaluru had just one shot on goal in the first session, although Sunil Chhetri had the ball in the back of the net but his attempt was ruled out for handball.
Pune, who had top scorer Marcelinho on the bench, surged ahead in the 35th minute, thanks to some brilliant work from Isaac Vanmalsawma. Midfielder Marcos Tebar kick-started the attack and found Isaac on the left. Isaac crossed the ball into the heart of the Bengaluru defence where nobody saw Adil burst from nowhere and finish with a super diving effort.
Bengaluru FC have scored seven of their 10 goals in the second session. Understandably they attacked with vigour in the second half and were helped by the sending off of Baljit, the second time in as many matches that Pune had a player red-carded. This time the red card came too early and Pune found it tough to defend thereafter.
Bengaluru’s equaliser came in the 64th minute through Miku, their highest goal scorer. Chhetri moved in from the left and saw Edu Garcia overlapping. He rolled the ball swiftly and the Spaniard simply pulled it back for Miku to finish from close range.
Miku scored his, and the team’s, second goal in the 78th minute with another exquisite finish after Garcia’s attempt was blocked by a rival defender. Chhetri then made the best use of Pune’s tired legs as he ran to meet a through-ball from Toni Dovale and calmly lifted it over the on-rushing goalkeeper, deep into added time.