Chennai hold lacklustre BFC

Football I-League

 Bengaluru FC endured another frustrating night as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Chennai City FC in an I-League fixure at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

A second-half own-goal from John Johnson had given Chennai the lead only for Daniel Lalhlimpuia to equalise on a night when the Blues rued missed chances.

Albert Roca made changes to the side that beat Minerva Punjab FC 1-0 in Ludhiana over the weekend, choosing to start with Daniel, Mandar ahead of CK Vineeth and Jugovic.

Bengaluru had Chennai on the ropes from the start when Mandar saw his header from a cross, kept out by Karanjit Singh in the fourth minute.

But for all of Bengaluru’s authority, it was Chennai who found themselves ahead in the 53rd minute when John Johnson headed a seemingly harmless cross from Nandhakumar on the right and watched in horror as it flew past Arindam Bhattacharya and into the Blues’ net.

Bengaluru responded with a goal of their own five minutes later when Udanta’s cross, pushed away by Karanjit Singh, fell at Daniel’s feet and the striker calmly shot home the equaliser.

Nishu Kumar then saw two delightful low crosses roll across the face of the goal with no Bengaluru body close enough to get a foot on them. Looking to shake things up a little, Roca made his final two changes in quick succession, replacing Cameron Watson and Daniel with Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Vineeth.

Bengaluru then had a shout for handball turned down deep into injury time but the Blues’ best chance of the half came when Lyngdoh’s looped free-kick into the area was nodded into a dangerous area for Dharmaraj Ravanan to clear off the line in what was to be their last action of the night.

Mumbai denied victory

Relegation-wary Mumbai FC almost pulled off a spectacular upset before Mohun Bagan rode on a Balwant Singh strike in the dying moments for a thrilling 2-2 draw on Wednesday.

Mohun drew the first blood from a Sony Norde corner in the 12th minute when an unmarked Pritam Kotal headed the ball in.

In a stunning turnaround, Mumbai scored two goals in two minutes with Khangebam Thoi Singh striking the equaliser in the 20th before Victorino Fernandes handed them the lead.

But a moment of brilliance from Norde in the 89th minute undid Mumbai’s fine effort.

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