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Walker gives Bengaluru FC full points

An efficient Bengaluru FC (BFC) prevailed over a flamboyant Warriors FC in their AFC Cup group stage encounter at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday. The 1-0 victory, which came through a first-half penalty, was BFC’s second positive result in three matches. Warriors, meanwhile, succumbed to its third straight loss.

Warriors was all flair, attempting the tough, pretty plays. The Singapore national champion did come close on a couple of occasions, but it was BFC which controlled the match. The home side dominated possession, and the organised defence — led by the fit-again John Johnson — regularly thwarted the opposition’s relentless push forward.

After two powerful long-range efforts failed to force a save from BFC goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte, the I-League champion came into its own. India under-23 international Shankar Sampangiraj pulled the strings, as a holding midfielder, and created chances with silken passes.

In the 34th minute, the visitor succumbed to a defensive error, when captain Daniel Ong brought down C.K. Vineet in the box. The striker had his back turned on goal, and there appeared to be unnecessary contact. The referee pointed to the spot, and Joshua Walker neatly converted.

Warriors threatened in spurts, especially Argentinian import Nicolas Velez — surely the hardest worker on the field. The lobbed through-balls, first-touch strikes and backheel passes from him and his teammates, however, did not work on the day.

The match was particularly sweet for BFC’s Walker, who stepped up in the absence of India internationals Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh. “I suppose all of us had something to prove today,” said a satisfied Englishman.

The result: Bengaluru FC 1 (Joshua Walker 34) bt Warriors FC 0.


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