An own goal by Bengaluru FC defender Sandesh Jhingan saw a spirited Minerva Punjab FC hold the reigning I-League champions to a 1-1 stalemate at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Saturday.
Sunil Chhetri had put the hosts in the lead with a superb strike in the 52nd minute but Bengaluru were denied the full three points when Jhingan’s attempted clearance of a cross by Minerva midfielder Kamalpreet Singh found his own net in the 79th minute.
Bengaluru, who conceded their first goal at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in this edition of the I-League, saw their all-win record at their home ground this season come to an end.
Bengaluru are now at the fifth place on the I-League table with 10 points from six matches. Minerva are at bottom with five points from seven matches.
Bengaluru dominated proceedings right from the start and their forward C.K. Vineeth got the first scoring chance of the game in the 11th minute but his attempt was parried away for a corner.
Minerva goalkeeper Arnab Das did well to block Chhetri’s effort from the resultant flag-kick. The defending champions continued to create chances at regular intervals but Minerva defended stoutly to hold them at bay throughout the first half.
It took an excellent effort from Chhetri to break Minerva’s resistance. Udanta Singh’s cross into the penalty area was thwarted by the Minerva defence but Chhetri smashed the rebound into the net from outside the box.
But the hosts’ delight did not last long as Kamalpreet Singh’s cross from the right took a deflection off Jhingan and Bengaluru custodian Amrinder Singh was not able to prevent the ball from getting into the back of his net.
Chennai win, Lajong streak ends
In Chennai, Chennai City FC registered their second win of the season and first under new coach V Soundararajan as they edged past Mumbai FC 2-1. Soundararajan, replacing the sacked Robin Charles Raja in his first game in charge, saw his team record a much-needed victory which lifted them off the foot of the table with seven points from eight matches. Chennai are now on seventh position.
Mumbai, on the other hand, succumbed to their sixth defeat on the trot having only six points from eight outings. Dhanpal Ganesh (29th) and Charles (69th) found the back of the net for the hosts after Mumbai’s new recruit Anderson da Silva opened the scoring in the 28th minute.
PTI adds from Shillong: In Shillong, DSK Shivajians rode goals from Sanju Pradhan (16) and Shane McFaul (44) to beat Shillong Lajong FC 2-1, ending their four-match winning streak at home. Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka scored for Shillong Lajong in the 34th minute. Shivajians are sixth with nine points while Lajong, fourth on the table, have 12.