A profligate Bengaluru FC side was made to rue their missed chances, as Mohun Bagan stole a point at the very end...
Mohun Bagan held Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw in the latter’s first ever I-League game at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Bangalore.
C.S Sabeeth’s last gasp header salvaged a point for the Mariners, cancelling out Rooney’s first half effort, with both the team’s missing a penalty each.
Bengaluru FC started their first game in the I-League by leaving both Robin Singh and Sunil Chhetri on the bench, as Beikhokhei Beingaichho started upfront with Sean Rooney.
Mohun Bagan meanwhile gave new recruit Harrison Muranda upfront, with Katsumi Yusa also featuring in their starting eleven.
The hosts started the game in good form, pressing high up the pitch, forcing Mohun Bagan to defend deep and clear the ball, thereby losing possession.
The Mariners were then forced to clear the ball off the line, as they lived dangerously at the back.
However Karim Bencherifa’s side got a golden chance to go ahead, when Keegan Pereira fouled Katsumi Yusa in the box, giving away a penalty.
However much to the chagrin of the away side’s bench, the Japanese’s tame effort was saved by Pawan Kumar in goal, giving a huge let-off to Bengaluru FC’s defense.
The home side then re-asserted their dominance on the game, but Mohun Bagan remained a threat on the counter-attack, with Yusa looking to redeem himself, after the penalty miss.
He set-up Sabeeth for a gilt-edged chance soon after, but the striker’s effort was tame, and did not trouble the keeper.
With the Mariners forward line looking off the boil, it was Bengaluru who finished the first half strongly, with a John Johnson header coming back off the post, with Sandip Nandy beaten, while the custodian had to stretch to keep out another free-kick effort by Rooney.
The second half started with another poor effort by Sabeeth, after Yusa had set him up.
Bagan then were made to pay for their missed penalty, as Bengaluru FC took the lead in the 50th minute, as Rooney scored the first ever league goal for the club, taking advantage of a pass by Vishal Kumar to find the back of the net.
However the home side missed the chance to double their lead, when they themselves missed a penalty, as Rooney’s effort was saved by Nandy. Ashley Westwood’s side had got the penalty after Keegan was fouled by Iche in the box.
Sunil Chhetri then joined the fray and almost immediately set up Siam Hangal, whose lobbed effort went just wide.
Bengaluru continued creating chances, with Rooney shooting wide from the edge of the box, before Yusa, who was the lone bright-spot in attack for Bagan, hit the post with a thunderous effort.
Sunil Chhetri then should have put the result beyond doubt, when Robin Singh’s cross reached him, after Aibor Khongjee mis-read the situation. However the Indian captain missed a sitter, giving Bagan some hope of a return.And the away side took full advantage of it, as deep in injury time, Sabeeth headed home the equalizer from the corner, leaving the fans of the hosts deflated, as Bagan snatched a point with literally the last kick of the game.
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