Mapusa: Bengaluru FC defeated Salgaocar 2-1 to move to the second spot of the Airtel I-League football in a fiery eleventh round clash at the Duler Stadium here Tuesday.
Salgaocar were jostling with Bengaluru to secure their top spot but they were clearly rattled when John Menyongar drew first blood for the visitors in the 21st minute.
Two minutes later, Gilbert Oliveira came up with a gem of a goal from almost 25 yards out to draw level, only for Beikhokhei Beingaichho to settle the matter in Bengaluru's favour in the 57th minute.
Salgaocar had a chance to draw level in the first minute of added time but Darryl Duffy missed a penalty.
The win saw Bengaluru garner 18 points from ten matches, the same as Salgaocar FC, but the latter still occupy the top position owing to better goal difference.
Bengaluru, though, deserved to be where they are. The visitors were the better side for most part and right from the time Thoi Singh went wide with an angular drive in the early stages of the game, it was clear that Ashley Westwood's side were determined to walk away with full points.
The plan seemed to work early as Bengaluru passed the ball around nicely and it surprised nobody when they surged ahead. The goal came from a corner kick as Beikhokhei passed it to Rino Anto who inturn picked out John just inside the box, and the former Liberian striker was as calm as ever slotting the ball into the net.
Salgaocar replied brilliantly to the setback, and it took a moment of brilliance from Gilbert to liven up the game. He picked up a ball from just outside the box and drilled in a fierce shot that somehow only found the top corner of the net, giving no chance whatsoever to Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Pawan Kumar.
At half time, with the teams tied one-all, there was nothing much separating the two teams but Bengaluru took the field determined to have an upperhand again. They had it in the 57th minute as Sunil Chhetri worked brilliantly on the left and picked out Beikhokhei whose left foot did the rest inside a crowded goalmouth.
Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira made two changes, trying to salvage something out of the game and they had a glorious chance in the first minute of added time to draw level after Darryl Duffy won a penalty. Duffy himself stepped up but Pawan Kumar was brilliant with the save, diving full-length to his left.