By I-League Media
PUNE: Aser Pierric Dipanda’s 37th-minute header cancelled out Eugenson Lyngdoh’s opener as the DSK Shivajians held second-placed Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw at the Balewadi Sports Complex tonight.
Baljit Sahni came close to scoring in the 4th minute, but the Bengaluru FC defence dealt well with the pressure and cleared their lines. Douhou Pierre came close five minutes later, but his shot was blocked by Amrinder and the visitors saw off the threat.
After a half-hour of possession based football, the game sprung into life in the 35th minute. Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri’s well struck free-kick from 25-yards was parried into the legs of Eugenson Lyngdoh and the dynamic Indian midfielder made no mistake in netting home to go a goal up in their away fixture.
However, the fighting spirit of the DSK Shivajians brought them back on level terms only four minutes after Lyngdoh’s strike. The Spanish left-winger Juan Quero played an impeccable lofted ball on to the head of Pierric Dipanda, and the striker who has been in outstanding form this term calmly headed the ball past Bengaluru keeper Amrinder Singh. With this goal, the Cameroonian now moves to 6 goals for the Red and Whites, placing him 5th in the race for the coveted golden boot.
This was exactly what the game was crying for as both teams began to play an attacking brand of football. The Shivajians’ faithful were a noisy group tonight, motivating their warriors time and again.
The score at the break was a goal apiece with the Shivajians playing a dominating game of football.
Juan Quero made a menacing start to the second period linking up with left-back Sena Ralte. Quero’s 49th-minute effort from the edge of the box tested the keeper and almost put the home side in the lead. Meanwhile at the other end, Subrata Paul in the DSK goal was called into action time and again, but the Indian number 1 dealt with the attacks that came his way.
Baljit Sahni found himself acres of space in the 60th minute when he drove a cross into the target man Dipanda, but the striker’s header flew off the cross-bar. This was a let off for Ashley Westwood’s side as Amrinder was comprehensively beaten in the Bengaluru goal.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the hosts, as their defensive stalwart Sandesh Jhingan picked up a knock on his right cheekbone and was off the field for 5 minutes. In the 84th minute, Dipanda hit a belter of a striker, but Amrinder’s outstretched arm stopped Dica from doubling his tally tonight. Subrata Paul was also tested by Thoi Singh in the 88th minute, but the shot lacked the pace to beat the seasoned goalkeeper.
Despite a number of late flourishes, both teams failed to find a winner as the game ended 1-1. DSK Shivajians move up three spots to sixth while Bengaluru FC remain second, level on points with leaders Mohun Bagan.