Javi Hernandez Brace helps Bengaluru beat FC Goa and finish Winless Run



Javi Hernandez’s brace ended Bengaluru’s five-match, four-game goalless run with a 2-0 win over FC Goa in the Indian Premier League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday. The Blues also notched their first clean sheet since the opening game of the season, handing the Gaurs their first home defeat of the season.

Both sides made some changes to their line-up. FC Goa midfielder Edu Bedia found himself on the bench as Princeton Rebelo took his place in the starting lineup. The hosts’ other change included Noah Wael Al Sedawy in the line-up as Tailang dropped to the bench. Alan Costa and Bruno Silva were dropped to the bench for Bengaluru FC when Aleksandar Jovanovic, Prabir Das started the match.

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In the opening two minutes, FC Goa moved forward with Alvaro Vazquez, who sprinted into the box and struck his shot from a tight angle. The effort on target was comfortably collected by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, whose close position was covered.

Javi Hernandez broke the deadlock and ended Bengaluru’s goal drought in the 27th minute. Anwar Ali was shut down by Roy Krishna when he cleared the ball out of defence – Krishna put Hernandez’s goal and the Spaniard coolly scored past Dheeraj Singh to give the Blues their first goal since game two.

In the 37th minute, Gurpreet was at his best to push Vazquez’s free kick to safety. At the other end, in first-half injury time, Dheeraj ran out of the box towards the right wing and knocked out Krishna. The FC Goa goalkeeper only saw a yellow card for fouling the Fijian striker.

In the second half, FC Goa started on the front foot. However, the Bengaluru side doubled their advantage in the 57th minute. As the Gaurs charged forward, the Blues broke on the counter with Udanta Singh, who pushed it into Hernandez. The Spaniard entered the penalty area, rounded the goalkeeper and calmly fired the ball into an empty net.

Ten minutes before the end of time, Krishna received a long ball from the defense and tried to chip it over the goalkeeper. The ball went over the keeper and was inches from the far post. At the other end, in the next minute, Ali fired a missile towards the top left corner of the goal. Gurpreet Singh made a timely save as he tiptoed him and cornered him.

After the defeat, FC Goa remained in fourth place, three points behind Odisha in third place, while Bengaluru moved from tenth to eighth place, three points behind Chennai. The Gaurs’ next match will be a visit to Mumbai City on December 1. Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC will return home to host ATK Mohun Bagan FC on December 3.

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