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Bangalore: Had their forwards brought their shooting boots, JSW Bengaluru would not have had to wait until the 82nd minute to score the goal that guaranteed their win over Abahani Limited Dhaka in the 2017 AFC Cup on Tuesday.

Albert Roca’s team notched up a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Nishu Kumar and second-half substitute Marijan Jugovic but for the profligacy of the home side’s front line – especially in the first-half – Bengaluru would have had the three points sown up long before.

And while the win kept last year’s finalists on track for a place in the next phase of the competition, Bengaluru will be hoping they can eradicate the profligacy in the games to come.

Lahlimpuia fails to hurt defence

Daniel Lalhlimpuia put in plenty of work in his position as Bengaluru’s central striker, but while he had an abundance of possession it was not often enough in the areas where he could hurt the Abahani defence.

And while he was able to ensure he was able to bring other players – such as Harmanjot Khabra and Seminlen Doungel – into the game, Bengaluru’s strike force needed to be doing more to take advantage of their superiority in this game.

The home side had 63.5 percent possession throughout the 90 minutes and spent much of the game virtually camped in the Abahani half, meaning a 2-0 win was the minimum Lalhlimpuia and his team mates could have expected.

Miss-firing strikers

Bengaluru were on top throughout the game and had 24 shots, of which nine were on target, compared with a mere three for the visiting team from Bangladesh, but Roca’s team struggled to turn that dominance into a tangible gap between the teams.

Strikers Khabra and Doungel were found wanting in front of goal – as were others in the Bengaluru team – with Doungel, in particular, maneuvering himself into good positions without taking advantage.

That left the responsibility to open the scoring to left-back Kumar, who notched up his side’s opener after 40 minutes while Jugovic, on in place of Doungel, finally claimed a second for Bengaluru with eight minutes remaining.

Chhetri remains creator-in-chief

Sunil Chhetri proved once again that he remains his team’s most creative player, eking out five opportunities for his teammates in another standout performance from the India international and Bengaluru captain.

With four shots in total, and with two of those on target, he was just as effective as his team’s forwards when it came to posing a threat to the Abahani goal while a passing accuracy of almost 85 percent underlined how effective he remains with the ball at his feet.

Photo: Lagardère Sports