BFC, Aizawl share spoils

BFC, Aizawl share spoils

Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri’s record-breaking strike denied Aizawl FC full points as the much-anticipated I-League match ended in a 1-1 draw here on Wednesday, further denting the defending champions’ hopes of retaining the crown.

Both goals were scored in the first half, within a span of five minutes. Brandon Vanlalremdika (40th minute) opened the scoring for Aizawl while Chhetri cancelled out the home team’s lead at the stroke of half-time.

The goal added another feather in the talismanic striker’s cap as he, with 90 goals, leapfrogged Bhaichung Bhutia to become the highest scorer in the National Football League and I-League put together.

However Chhetri missed a penalty in the second half and the result meant BFC’s winless streak extended to five matches.

With 12 points from eight matches, they are placed fifth on the table. East Bengal with 21 points head the table followed by Mohun Bagan (18) and Aizawl (17). Shillong Lajong are fourth (13).

Better team
Aizawl looked the better team in the first half with three shots on target while Bengaluru had just a single shot on target. BFC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh produced a smart save in the 32nd minute when he successfully blocked a powerful shot by Alfred Jaryan moments after Mohammad Al-Amna’s header hit the bar. In the second half, Bengaluru missed a chance to go ahead in the 55th minute when Chhetri stepped up to take the penalty which was punched away by Aizawl FC goalkeeper Albino Gomes.

Just minutes before the final whistle, BFC’s Zohmingliana Ralte headed a free-kick by Lalramchullova but it sailed over the bar.

Enviable record
The draw helped Aizawl maintain their enviable unbeaten record at home this season. Though Bengaluru FC halted their four-match winning streak at home, the highlanders would be happy with the solitary point they earned from the game.

Later in the day, Minerva Punjab FC played out a goalless draw with DSK Shivajians, while table-toppers East Bengal were held by a buoyant Shillong Lajong 1-1. Samuel Lalmuanpuia gave Lajong the lead in the 20th minute only to see it being cancelled out by Willis Plaza in the 45th minute.

On Tuesday, Chennai City FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Churchill Brothers. After a dour first half, Brandon Fernandes gave Churchill the lead in the 63rd minute only to see it cancelled out a couple of minutes later by Chennai’s Charles de Souza.
Agencies

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