Ten-Man Mohun Bagan Hold Bengaluru 0-0 In Electric Affair At the Fortress
A red card and two exciting halves of football saw Bengaluru FC held to a goalless draw against Mohun Bagan at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. Bagan were reduced to ten men in the closing stages of the game but the Blues’ every effort was thwarted away by a stubborn defence.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh made his return to the starting XI as Albert Roca chose to start with Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Udanta Singh partnering Sunil Chhetri in attack. Nishu Kumar, who put in a stellar display against Chennai City last week, was rewarded with another start in the left-back position.
Bengaluru’s first chance of the evening came from a set-piece when Lyngdoh was brought down by Sehnaj Singh five yards outside the box but Chhetri’s effort was high. Mohun Bagan, meanwhile, came closest when Balwant Singh saw his header from a Yusa Katsumi set-piece padded away by Arindam Bhattacharya in the Bengaluru goal.
Chhetri then picked Lyngdoh on top of the box before the midfielder turned his marker deftly only to see his attempt to curl the ball in low, bounce wide.
Bengaluru started the second half with renewed vigour and had Bagan on the ropes and defending in numbers. The Blues had a shout for a foul on Chhetri on the edge of the box wrongly turned down in the 49thminute and Sandesh Jhingan saw his headed attempt bounce wide by just a little.
The odds tilted heavily the Blues’ favour when Bagan were reduced to ten men after Subashish Bose hacked Udanta down to pick his second booking of the game. Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen threw on Prabir Das, withdrawing Darryl Duffy in the process as, he attempted to add steel to the Bagan defence.
Bagan had a goal disallowed for a foul on Bengaluru ’keeper Arindam as Albert Roca sent on CK Vineeth and Marjan Jugovic to add more firepower to the Blues’ attack in the closing stages. The Blues’ best chance came in the last minute of regulation time as a free-kick from Watson was headed back into a dangerous area by Vineeth, but failed to connect with a BFC body. Juanan then saw his effort from distance sail inches high of the bar as the two sides shared the points.
Bengaluru face Mohun Bagan once again, this time in the opening match of the 2017 AFC Cup, at the same venue on Tuesday.