ISL 2020-21: Hyderabad FC’s watertight defence holds Bengaluru FC to goalless draw
Getting four points from two outings is best start in the league for Hyderabad. However, it was a frustrating evening for Bengaluru, who are yet to taste a win this season.
Margao: Hyderabad FC settled for their second successive draw, a stalemate, in the Indian Super League (ISL), splitting points with Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao on Saturday.
Getting four points from two outings is best start in the league for Hyderabad.
However, it was a frustrating evening for Bengaluru FC, who are yet to taste a win this season.
The two sides showed attacking intent from the word go and BFC had their first attempt as early as the fifth minute. Ashique Kuruniyan tried his luck from a distance but his effort took a deflection before being collected by Hyderabad custodian Subrata Paul.
This turned out to be the only attempt at goal in the first session.
Hyderabad's adamant defending frustrated Bengaluru, who struggled to take the ball up to their attacking trio of Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth and Udanta Singh. Trying to find an alternative, Bengaluru engaged in long-range shots, which proved futile.
Going forward, Hyderabad were the better side in the first half. The men in yellow nearly took the lead in the 25th minute from a Lluis Sastre set-piece. Bengaluru keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu denied Aridane Santana's header with a full-stretch save to keep the scores level.
Hyderabad pushed Bengaluru deep in their territory with Halicharan Narzary, Joel Chianese and Santana making regular inroads.
However, the visitors suffered a blow before the break as their foreigners Chianese and Sastre limped off the pitch with Yasir and Sharma replacing the duo.
Despite making a half-time change, replacing Kristian Opseth with Dimas Delgado, Bengaluru had nothing different to offer as their opponents continued to dominate the play.
Santana's struggle continued as he missed a great opportunity to put his side ahead in the 55th minute. After dribbling past the Bengaluru defence, the Spaniard's shot was way off target.
Both sides repeatedly tried to find the net from distance with the attempts being either blocked or going way off target.
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Substitute Pandita's goal came in the 85th minute after a 75th-minute free-kick strike from Edu Garcia had put ATKMB ahead.
Luis Machado (27') opened the scoring for the Highlanders but Rahul Bheke (49') cancelled out his goal after the break to help the Blues salvage a point.
SCEB now have 12 points from as many games, while it was a setback for the two-time champions Marina Machans in their bid to climb into top-four with a second successive win as they remained at sixth with 15 points from 12 matches.