By I-League Media
GOA: Sporting Clube de Goa let a first-half lead slip away as they allowed Bengaluru FC to make it 2-2 at the blow of the referee’s final whistle, powered by Sunil Chhetri’s well-taken brace.
Incidentally, this was Bengaluru FC’s first draw in eleven games played this season while Sporting Clube de Goa registered second consecutive draw in as many games.
There were two changes in store for Sporting as Ganesh Thakur and Nicholas Fernandes made way for Seriton Fernandes and Marcus Mascarenhas. Ashley Westwood resorted to replacing Amrinder Singh with Ralte and the injured midfielder Shankar Sampingiraj with Siam Hangal.
The game got off to a lively start as Seriton Fernandes broke ahead of Bengaluru FC’s back line and was through on goal, but his scuffed effort was cleared off the line. A few minutes later, Thoi Singh found himself in the box at the end of a well-constructed move but his shot was below the satisfactory levels.
Marcus Mascarenhas added salt to Bengaluru FC’s wound by opening the scoring in the 19th minute. The winger closed down the gaolkeeper’s clearance after a back pass by Lalthuammawia Ralte and the deflection landed in the back of the net.
Odafa Okolie doubled the lead in the 38th minute curling one from the edge of the box beyond Ralte. The Nigerian used Seriton’s run down the right to find space for himself and then put his laces onto the shot to finish the move.
Minutes later, a penalty was awarded to Bengaluru after Loveday was adjudged guilty of handling the ball in the box. Sunil Chhetri stepped up to halve the lead for the home team at the stroke of the half-time.
Two minutes later, Loveday picked up his second yellow card for a harsh tackle on Udanta Singh only to leave his team one-man down for the entire second half.
The second half began in pedestrian pace and the first chance of the game came off a Bengaluru corner which was chested down by Michael Collins in the box and taken on the half-volley, but Arindam dived hard and low to save it.
Bengaluru FC equalized through Sunil Chhetri in the 67th minute, as the Blues skipper got at the end of a cross from Udanta to score his fifth goal of the season, after Arindam was beaten in the flight of the ball.
The next chance of the game came as late in the 89th minute when Daniel had the chance to win it for Bengaluru after getting at the end of a fantastic move, but his shot sailed well over the crossbar.
At full time, it ended 2-2 at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. Bengaluru will certainly be with the solitary point against Sporting Clube de Goa who had made them bite the dust at the Kanteerava Stadium in the first leg.