Bengaluru FC rally to salvage a point

Bengaluru FC rally to salvage a point

An inspired last 16 minutes that had a delightful Sunil Chhetri (74th) finish and a debut goal in a Blues’ shirt for Salam Ranjan (90th) saw Bengaluru claw back from two goals down to end things at 2-2 against DSK Shivajians in an I-League clash here on Sunday.

The draw at the Balewadi Stadium leaves the Blues on fifth position in the standings with 10 points from six games. East Bengal continued their unbeaten start with a 3-0 win over Chennai City FC at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata. Goals from Wedson Anselme (50th), Willis Plaza (75th) and Lalrindika Ralte (90+) ensured the hosts stayed on pole position with 19 points from 7 games.

Dipanda Dicka’s solitary second-half goal gave Shillong Lajong their fourth home win of the season as they beat Churchill Brothers 1-0. With John Johnson serving a suspension, Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca handed Keegan Pereira and Salam Ranjan Singh their first starts of the season while Sena Ralte was named on the bench.

Having done well to keep the marauding hosts at bay for a long time, the Bengaluru defence had a moment of horror as DSK got the lead in the 40th minute. Keegan, in failing to read Juan Quero’s pass for Holicharan Narzary, drew goalkeeper Amrinder Singh off his line only for the DSK striker to get the ball at his feet and an empty goal at his mercy from where he made no mistake.

Struggling to string together attacks and looking completely bereft of ideas, Bengaluru were further pegged back in the 55th minute when Milan Singh’s long ball rolled in to Narzary’s path. The young striker put it through the ’keeper’s legs to make it 2-0.

But just when it seemed like the hosts were coasting with the game, Bengaluru pulled one back in the 74th minute through Sunil Chhetri. Throwing everything they had at the DSK defence, the Blues attacked with intent as shots from Chhetri and Vineeth were blocked away. The pressure paid off for the away side, as a corner in the dying minutes was nodded home by Ranjan to bring things level.

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