Defending champions Bengaluru FC started their I-League 2017 campaign in the best possible manner on Saturday as they thrashed Shillong Lajong 3-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
The two key players of Bengaluru FC -- Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh -- once again remained the standout performers in the first half of the match, but that takes away nothing from Udanta Singh, whose goal at the 26th minute following defensive chaos by Shillong Lajong, planted the seeds of the home side putting their best foot forward in the game.
Goals turn out to be the perfect motivation for a team, and it was very evident from the way the home team responded after the goal. Chhetri and Eugene got the best out of their former goalkeeper Vishal Kaith, currently with Lajong.
The 1-0 lead at half time would have very much doubled had the terrific duo not hit the bar of the goal post on so many occasions in the first 45 minutes of play. Had all the shots on goal been converted, the score could have very much been 4-0 at half time.
Chhetri got the momentum by the middle of the first half and it continued for the rest of the match. The Indian football talisman attracted another great save from Vishal, who was hands down one of the best players of the night for the visitors, along with defenders Nim Dorjee Tamang and Romania's Dan Ignat.
Udanta was a part of the plethora of BFC attacking moves so long, but then he decided to steal the limelight again. The 20-year-old Manipuri scored a superb goal at the 68th minute to get his brace of the night.
However, even that goal fell short in comparison to the quality of the goal from newly-acquired BFC left-back Sena Ralte. At the 80th minute, the debutante for BFC lashed out a blinder of a shot on goal from over 30 yards out and the ball absolutely thumped at the back of the goal, attracting a high-decibel noise from the supporters.
Top 5 Indian footballers to shine from the game
Udanta Singh (Forward - Bengaluru FC)
Sunil Chhetri (Forward - Bengaluru FC)
Sena Ralte (Defender - Bengaluru FC)
Vishal Kaith (Goalkeeper - Shillong Lajong)
Eugeneson Lyngdoh (Midfielder - Bengaluru FC)