PUNE: Nine-men Bharat FC got past Goan giants Salgaocar FC with ease at the Balewadi Stadium in a Hero I-League Round 7 game on Sunday evening.
The game ended 2-0 in favour of the debutantes, and they collected their first three points from a game this season.
Subhash Singh drew the first blood for the Hosts in the 23rd minute, following an assist from Kris Bright. The ball was delivered by Lester Fernandes from the corner, and Bright’s stinger came off Subrata. On the rebound, Subhash made no errors in slotting the ball home comfortably.
Off to the additional time of the first 45 minutes, and Kris Bright doubled the lead for his side following a spot kick, earned after a foul by custodian Subrata on him inside the box.
Bright made no mistake in sinking the penalty in.
This win will be cherished for long by Bharat FC that had been scouting for full points in vain during the two home and two away matches they played so far in the season.
The win lifted Bharat FC to No 10 position pushing Sporting Clube de Goa to the rock-bottom once again in less than 24 hours. The Goans had drawn Pune FC 1-1 at this same venue on Saturday to move up.
Having drawn East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium, Bharat FC came into the match high on confidence and it showed abundantly on field as the team played much to the plan rather than being clueless.
Former Pune FC striker Douhou Pierre, who now plies his trade for Salgaocar was at ease playing on this ground where he has scored memorable goals. He looked dangerous in the 15th minute when he sent a ball for Gilbert Oliviera, but there was too much pace on the ball which saw Bharat FC’s Gouramangi Singh cancelling the move.
Bharat FC’s breakthrough came on the 23rd minute quite against the flow of play as hard-working Subhash Singh scored his first goal for his new team.
New Zealand striker Kris Bright had flicked the ball into the Salgaocar area before Rajinder Kumar earned the corner. Lester Fernandes’ corner brought everyone into action before Bright smashed it on target, but Salgaocar goalkeeper Subrata Paul cut it short, but failed to get the ball out of play.
Subash Singh capitalized on the loose ball and pushed it in for a 1-0 lead.
Bharat FC improved their pace and that rattled Salgaocar to no end. Subrata looked tentative under the bar and the keeper seemingly fouled on Bright that earned Bharat FC a spot kick, which Bright converted without any hitch.
On changing the ends, Bharat FC looked for more openings, but Salgaocar were solid in defence. The home team on the other hand began to commit silly mistakes that saw first Gunashekar Vignesh getting red card for a second offence.
Playing with 10 men, Bharat FC defended well for 30-odd minutes and just when it seemed that home team would end the match on a high yet another red card, this time Dharamraj Ravanan being booked for fouling when Douhou was taking free-kick from the edge of the box.
The resulting penalty should have reduced the margin, but Arindam produced one cheeky defence and stopped Douhou’s spot kick cleanly.
Hero of the Match – Romuald Boco (Bharat FC).