SHILLONG, Apr 15 (PTI): Sunil Chettri and Harmanjot Khabra scored a goal each as defending champions Bengaluru FC snatched three points from Shillong Lajong to further close down the gap with leaders Mohun Bagan in the I-League table.
Sunil Chhetri broke into the Lajong defence and found the net in the 26th minute while Khabra headed home the second goal in the first five minutes of the second half to deepen the crisis of the young home side.
Alberto Roca made four changes to the Bengaluru team that dented Aizawl FC's title hunt last week while Thangboi Singto made no changes to the team that held table toppers Mohun Bagan at home earlier this week.
The home side put pressure on the 'Blues' right from the first whistle. Aser Dipanda who was on a lone mission to strike was nearly rewarded had John Johnson not cut his opportunity in the first few minutes of the match.
Young Samuela was also given the chance, but he fumbled inside the box, resulting in the ball getting cleared from his possession.
Roca's disciplined formation was efficient enough and soon Chhetri, who was left unmarked, outwitted the opposition and found the net.
Bengaluru then controlled the tempo of the match and the young Lajong squad were found wanting in all departments of the game till the break.
Soon after resumption, the home side was nearly rewarded with an equaliser but Chinglensana Singh's header flew over the post.
A few minutes later, the misery of the home side deepened with Khabra heading home a cross from Nishu Kumar in the 49th minute of the match.
After today's win, Bengaluru replaced Lajong at fourth in the table. Both teams have 24 points each from 16 matches but Bengaluru are ahead on goal difference.