Bengaluru FC yet to notch up win in ISL7
It’s not all that surprising that a match featuring two goalkeepers with the most clean sheets in the history of Indian Super League (ISL), Subrata Paul and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with 27 and 25 respectively, saw no goals. What perhaps was though was Bengaluru FC’s largely off- colour performance.
The 2018 ISL champions, held by FC Goa in the previous game after leading by two goals, had a sedate outing in a 0-0 draw with Hyderabad FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday.It was the first goalless draw of ISL-7, one that saw Hyderabad FC keep their second straight clean sheet after finishing the entire previous season without any. En route, Manuel Marquez Roca’s Hyderabad outfit have a win and a draw.
It was Hyderabad FC who got the closest to the scoresheet, in the 24th minute. Captain Aridane Santana broke away from the clutter inside the box to head a curling free-kick delivered from the left flank by Lluis Sastre. The header, placed straight from an extremely close range, needed India and Bengaluru custodian Sandhu to summon his best reactive skills and deflect it away to his right.
In control, Hyderabad FC were dealt with injury blows late in the first half to two of their foreign recruits who were having a good evening. Australian ISL debutant Joel Chianese hobbled off with a twisted ankle before Spaniard Sastre appeared to have done in his hamstring.
Bengaluru FC, however, could not capitalise on the weakened opposition. Not even with the introduction of their creative playmaker Dimas Delgado straight after the break. Star forward Sunil Chhetri took a wild shot in the 70th minute off his left foot from outside the box and they made a few frantic attempts towards the end. But more things seemed to be happening at the opposite end, especially from Santana who stamped himself as Hyderabad’s most lethal player after winning them the first match against Odisha FC with a penalty.
“Before the game, we thought one point was a good score. But after the game… if there was one team that deserved to win, it was Hyderabad for me,” Roca said.
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