I-League 2017: DSK Shivajians 2-2 Bengaluru FC - The Blues still in search of the elusive victory
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A late comeback from Bengaluru saw them win a point after two back to back league defeats...

DSK Shivajians held reigning champions Bengaluru FC 2-2 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune.

Twin strikes from Halicharan Narzary (41', 55') were countered by Sunil Chhetri (75') and an injury time equaliser from Salam Ranjan Singh.

The Maharashtra based side headed into the tie having made four changes to the side that lost to Aizawl FC. Gouramangi Singh, Soirem Poirei, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Sairuat Kima all dropped out of the team. In came Subrata Paul, making his first appearance of the term, while Shane McFaul, Holicharan Narzary and Sumeet Passi were added to make up the numbers. 

Bengaluru FC meanwhile made three changes to the team that lost to Al Wihdat in Jordan in the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Champions League qualifiers. John Johnson was suspended, with Keegan Pereira and Salaam Ranjan Singh joining Juanan and Harmanjot Khabra in defense. 

The defending champions were put on the mat within the first 15 minutes of the match, itself. First Amrinder Singh came to his side's rescue pulling off a smart save from a Narzary shot in the 2nd minute, after which Juan Quero's attempted cross came off the crossbar with Amrinder well beaten this time around.

Narzary took yet another shot from just outside the box, which was saved tactfully by Singh. Meanwhile, Quero, the diminutive Spaniard took the game by the scruff of the neck and unleashed a shot that rattled the crossbar again in the 30th minute, some 25 yards from goal as the away side was completely outplayed.

DSK Shivajians FC Bengaluru FC I-League 2017

With the hosts dominating proceedings, Bengaluru fashioned an entrance in the 28th minute, as Eugenson Lyngdoh zipped in a quick pass through the box, after being set-up in the 18 yard box by CK Vineeth. However, the chance was wasted and the effort harmlessly rolled out for a goal-kick.    

In the 36th minute Juanan was called into action as he made a last ditch tackle to prevent his side from conceding after some good work from Kim saw him tee up Narzary, who just had to tap into an empty net. However, the Spanish defender slid in perfectly before smartly clearing the danger.

However Narzary was in no mood to give up and his persistence paid off as he opened the scoring in the 41st minute.  The ball wasn't cleared the first time out after an interception by Pereira with the Bengaluru defense caught napping. Narzary had all the time and space to steal possession and gleefully rolled the ball past Amrinder who had come off his line in a desperate attempt to save the day. 

The half drew to a close with Dave Rogers' men in cruise control and this seemed to be yet another long night for the out of form Blues .

Seong-Yong Kim DSK Shivajians FC Bengaluru FC I-League 2017

The second half began on a dreadful note for the Blues , who conceded a second goal some nine minutes after the restart. It was that man Narzary as he raced through on goal and slotted past Amrinder despite Khabra's best attempt to put him off.

Albert Roca then brought on Daniel Lahlimpuia for the ineffective Udanta Singh, as he sought to freshen up the team's attack with Bengaluru desperately in search of a goal to bring them back into the match.

It was their talisman, Sunil Chhetri who sparked a comeback after scoring in the 75th minute. The goal was brought about by an error in judgment by Subrata Pal who rushed out to minimize Chhetri's angle but the 31 year-old intelligently squeezed the ball past him and into the far post. 

DSK Shivajians FC Bengaluru FC I-League 2017

The skipper then turned back the years with a pacey sprint into the box and a layoff that almost resulted in an own goal from the covering McFaul but it was narrowly wide. Bengaluru's efforts to get back into the match were finally awarded int he 90th minute when Salaam Ranjan Singh rose highest to head home a corner from Cameron Watson, on his return to the Pune ground he once called home with Pune FC. 

The match almost turned on its head in the 92nd minute, when Rodrigues' piledriver deflected off Paul's gloves and onto the post. The rebound was nearly capitalized on by Chhetri, whose measured shot was again saved by an agile DSK number one with his feet as Bengaluru were desperately unlucky to not score an unlikely winner.

DSK moved into sixth pace with six points, while Bengaluru drew their first game in the league to move onto ten points after two league defeats in a row.

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