Bengaluru FC started life under new head coach Gerard Zaragoza on a positive note by defeating Jamshedpur FC 1-0 in their Indian Super League match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

It was a cagey affair from the beginning, with Jamshedpur goalkeeper TP Rehenesh starring with some important stops to keep the scoreline level. Rehenesh has been a notch above the other players from the Red Miners this season as the team’s struggles compound with one unfortunate result after another.

For Bengaluru, it was down to their experienced outfield duo of Sunil Chhetri and Javi Hernandez to get them out of the rut that they found themselves in. Chhetri stepped up to take a free kick in the 37th minute from nearly 30 yards out, and he shot it admirably well only for a full-stretched Rehenesh to dive and palm it away from goal.

From the resultant corner, Sivasakthi Narayanan bundled the ball into the net but the goal was ruled out due to a foul on Rehenesh in the build up.

Hernandez, on the other hand, floated across the frontline discovering gaps in the Jamshedpur backline. On one such opportunity, a minute before the half-time break, he steered the ball on the right flank and played a lateral pass to Slavko Damjanović who was a few yards away from Rehenesh.

A heavy touch from Damjanović meant that the ball met the hand of Jamshedpur defender Elsinho, leading to a spot-kick for the home side.

Interestingly, it was Hernandez and not Chhetri who stepped up to assume duties from 12 yards away. Bengaluru had won only one game in the season before this, which was on October 4 against East Bengal FC. Hernandez was the difference between the two sides back then too, pulling off a fantastic overhead kick to hand them a 71st-minute winner. Likewise, he hammered the ball into the bottom right corner to help the Blues get a foot ahead in the game on Saturday.

Jamshedpur were desperate in their quest for a response and they naturally looked up to their midfielder Jeremy Monzorro to produce something noteworthy in the final third. Monzorro was averaging 10.4 entries in the penalty box per game prior to this match in the current season, suggesting that he is someone who constantly finds a way past the opposition’s backline.

On Saturday, he tried to create something out of nothing just past the hour mark as he let one fly from distance. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu put in a dive but the ball flew over the cross bar grazing the top of the goal.

Monzorro tested Sandhu again in stoppage time with a superb free-kick which looked destined for the top corner only for Sandhu to tip it behind.

Monzorro finally beat Sandhu a minute later with a curling effort only for the ball to cannon back off the crossbar. Elsinho had the opportunity to make amends for his first-half error in the resulting move but shot straight at Sandhu as Benagluru held on to give Zaragoza a winning start to life as Bengaluru head coach.