Last season's champions Bengaluru FC finished the 2016/17 I-League at fourth place trumping three goals against Churchill Brothers SC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia (5') opened the scoring early as Udanta Singh (35') and Mandar Rao Dessai (84') rounded off a clinical win on the last matchday of the league.
The home side came into the game with eight changes from the win against DSK Shivajians – Lalthuammawia Ralte, Juanan, Gursimrat Gill, Mandar Rao Dessai, Malsawmzuala, Lenny Rodrigues, Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Udanta Singh came in.
The visitors had Kingslee Fernandes, Anthony de Souza and Gabriel Fernandes come into the lineup.
Bengaluru started off at a frantic pace, taking the lead with just five minutes gone. Udanta was brought down and the hosts had a freekick, which was played short. Gill swung it into the box, and Daniel applied the finishing touches.
Minutes later, Churchill had a chance to equalize as Bektur Talgat played Anthony through. One-on-one with Ralte, he contrived to shoot right at the keeper.
Udanta was having a great night, and with twenty five minutes gone, he beat three men with slick footwork and set Daniel up. Daniel’s shot, however, was straight at Naveen Kumar, not troubling him a bit.
He finally had his goal ten minutes later, as he sprung the offside trap and raced past the defense, rounded up the keeper, and scored from a ridiculously tight angle.
On the stroke of half-time, Churchill had a chance to come back into the game, when Juanan miskicked a corner and it fell for Adil Khan in front of an empty net. But he kicked it over the crossbar in comical manner.
Ansumana Kromah came on at half-time as Churchill tried to get back into the game.
The second half saw the hosts ready to just sit back and not go all guns blazing like they did in the game against DSK.
The visitors were too lax as well, not really forcing Bengaluru out of their comfort zones and instead looking at damage control.
Anthony de Souza had a great chance to pull a goal back, when he attempted a far-post curler, but it was just a tad bit too wide.
The refereeing was a dampener on the already rain-impacted damp night, as the referee was seemingly uninterested to dish out cards where necessary.
Gill picked up a knock, and seeing no reason to continue with a niggle on a meaningless game, Albert Roca took him off.
Kromah looked the only Churchill player bothered enough to try, but the game was already set into a dull rut by then with a Bengaluru win already secured.
However, a moment of real beauty came in the 84th minute, when Mandar took the ball on the far right, cut inside and upon being urged by the fans to shoot, he curled it past Naveen’s outstretched arm into the far post to put them three to the good.
Bengaluru finish their I-League campaign with a flourish, and make sure that Shillong Lajong don’t pip them to the fourth spot should they win on Sunday.