Bengaluru FC returned to winning ways in the Indian Super League (ISL) after a goal by Spanish striker Miku ensured their first away win of the season, against NorthEast United at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in Guwahati.
The win was their third of the season and allowed them to reclaim the top spot in the ISL table.
With first-choice keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu suspended after his red card against FC Goa, stand-in keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte returned from injury to play a key role as Bengaluru FC kept a clean sheet and held on to a 1-0 win.
Mikuâ€™s fourth goal of the season, in as many games, came after a mistake by NorthEast keeper TP Rehenesh. A poor clearance in the 47th minute was pounced on by Udanta Singh on the right who raced clear of the NorthEast defence, before crossing the ball to Miku for a simple finish.
Both sides had plenty of chances to take the lead. While keeper Ralte was in fine form to deny Brazilian attackers Danilo and Marcinho, inept finishing by Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri and Miku kept the scores level in the first half.
Mikuâ€™s 47th minute goal changed the complexion of the game as Bengaluru retreated in the second half to defend their lead. A composed performance by the defence and good shot-stopping by Ralte including a point-blank save from Danilo, kept the hosts at bay, as the Blues registered their third win of the season.
Bengaluru FC are playing in the ISL for the first time this season after making the switch from the I-League. With three wins in four matches, they have made a flying start in the competition.
The team next faces Pune City on December 14 before returning to the Kanteerava Stadium for a home match against Chennaiyin FC next Sunday.
North East United are placed sixth in the table with four points from three matches with a game against Kerala Blasters next on December 15.