Yasir (35’), Williams (58’) On Target As Grayson’s Men Continue Search For First Away Win Of ISL Season
Hyderabad: Goals from Mohammad Yasir (35’) and Ryan Williams (58’) on either side of the break saw Bengaluru FC play out a 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Saturday. The result saw Bengaluru move up to 8th place on the table, with five points from six games, while the hosts continued their search for an elusive first win this season.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was called into action early in the encounter, with Brazilian midfielder Joao Victor managing to slip into a pocket of space and forcing a save from the Blues’ shot-stopper. Hyderabad came close once again through defender Oswaldo Alanis, whose header was easy pickings for the Bengaluru custodian.
Earlier, Simon Grayson made one change to the side that took the field against the Juggernauts earlier this week, as Jessel Carneiro replaced the suspended Naorem Roshan Singh. The hosts, meanwhile, made four changes to the side that drew against Mumbai City FC, with Thangboi Singto opting to start with Mark Zothanpuia, Felipe Amorim and Nim Dorjee Tamang in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Costa Rican striker Jonathan Moya as a focal point.
Bengaluru’s best chance of the half fell right at the half-hour mark when, picked out by a long punt forward from Aleksandar Jovanovic, Sunil Chhetri’s shot on goal was saved by Gurmeet Singh at his near post. Grayson’s men came close from the resulting corner, but for Ryan Williams’ swing into the area to be nodded off target by Jovanovic.
Mohammed Yasir broke the deadlock only moments later, controlling a long diagonal from Alanis before slotting past Gurpreet to make it 1-0. Bengaluru continued to push forward, but shots from Suresh Wangjam and Halicharan Narzary went wayward as the hosts took their lead down the tunnel.
Grayson rang in three changes at the break, calling upon Rohit Kumar, Robin Yadav and Javi Hernandez to replace Patre, Carneiro and Damjanovic. The Blues found the net shortly before the hour mark, when Hernandez turned into a pocket of space and found Narzary down the left flank. The winger raced into the box and squared a low pass for Williams to slot home without fuss from close range.
Bengaluru had a chance to take the lead only two minutes later when a miscued clearance by Zothanpuia allowed Suresh through on goal. The midfielder’s attempt to find the near post was saved by Gurmeet, with a pass to the onrushing Chhetri seeming the better option. The hosts were forced into a change only moments later when Mohammad Yasir, unable to continue, was replaced by Hitesh Sharma.
Bengaluru had another chance to take the lead when Rohit Kumar’s nod forward fell for Chhetri, but the Bengaluru skipper’s attempt to poke through was met by Gurmeet, who made himself big off the line. At the other end of the pitch, Moya’s header from close range went off target from Felipe’s cross as both sides continued to push for a winner.
Gurpreet was called into action once again in the closing stages when Chinglensana Singh’s header from a Joao Victor corner had to be pushed over the bar. The Blues’ final roll of the dice saw Rohit Danu’s introduction in place of Narzary. The winger managed to create inroads down the left, but Grayson’s men couldn’t apply the finishing touch as both sides settled for a point apiece.
The Blues travel to Guwahati next, where they take on NorthEast United at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, on November 26th, at 8 pm.