Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC clinched their second Puttaiah Memorial Cup after a 2-1 win over Madras Engineering Group (MEG) in the final of the 2018 edition of the competition at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Sunday. In an entertaining clash, it was Myron Mendes’ (86’) late winner that handed Blue Colts their first piece of silverware this season after MEG’s Rahul (56’) had cancelled out Lalengzama Vangchhia’s (41’) opener.
Going into the decisive game, Coach Naushad Moosa made one change as Altamash Sayed replaced Ajay Chhetri in the starting line-up. The first close chance fell for Bengaluru when defender Parag Shrivas released Edmund Lalrindika clear down the left flank with a quick throw-in. The attacker raced past his marker while controlling the ball but his low left-footed drive across the goal went inches wide at the far post.
Meanwhile, MEG who were restricted to only a few counter attacks throughout the half, had their close moment midway through the first half. A freekick pumped in from the right flank was headed out by Namgyal Bhutia and fell kindly for MEG attacker Leon who’s attempt on the half-volley sailed just over the horizontal.
The Blue Colts finally broke the deadlock five minutes from the break. Midfielder Myron Mendes was fouled right on the edge of the box. Lalengzama stepped up to take the resultant freekick and curled his attempt perfectly at the far post for his first goal of the competition.
The second half was a completely different story as MEG began attacking with intent. A momentary lapse of defence in the BFC backline allowed them to pull level when winger Rahul slotted home Ramu’s neat through pass to make it 1-1 in the 56th minute.
Thereafter it was an end-to-end affair with both sides creating chances. While the Blue Colts created majority of them, the closest they came was in the 68th minute. Substitute Leon Augustine and Naorem Roshan Singh combined well on the right flank before the former chipped in a ball at the far post from inside the box. Biswa Darjee who timed his run well powered the ball goalward with a diving header but his effort was cleared off the line by MEG defender Reagan.
Bengaluru kept their pressure on and had back-to-back chances through Edmund in the final ten minutes who was only denied by the rival custodian Sharath. First, he somehow kept Edmund’s effort out from the edge of the box after BFC attacked on a quick freekick in the 83rd minute, before blocking his shot at the first post from close range a minute later.
As the Blue Colts pushed ahead, left-back Parag Shrivas was fouled on the left earing a freekick in the process. Altamash fired a low effort from the set piece to find Myron who pulled out of the crowd to fire home a first-time left-footer and seal the game in Bengaluru’s favour with five minutes to go on the clock.
Bengaluru FC B’s Parag Shrivas was among the individual awards as he picked up the best defender of the tournament.