Bagan hold BFC goalless

Bagan hold BFC goalless

Football I-League : Teams split points after referee denies goal to 10-man visitors

Bagan hold BFC goalless

In the past, this fixture may have entertained many with its goal fest and drama. But on Saturday, none of that was on display as a 10-man Mohun Bagan held Bengaluru FC goalless at the Sree Kanteerava stadium.

A denied goal and a red card to Subhashish Bose in the 70th minute were the highlights, as Bengaluru failed to make the most of the numerical advantage against a determined Bagan side.

The draw hardly had any say on the points table as the defending champions continue to occupy the fifth spot with 18 points from 13 games, while Bagan are third with 23 points from their 12 games.

If there was one thing that Roca was certain ahead of a fixture as big as this, it was the fact that Bengaluru would make life difficult for their opponents in every possible way. And the intentions were clear in the line-up that the Spaniard named as Eugeneson Lyngdoh returned to the fold in place of Mandar Rao Dessai.

Bagan too were forced to change with Shilton Paul taking his place between the sticks for an injured Debjit Majumder, while Jeje Lalpekhlua was restricted to the bench. It did not take much time for the teams to set the stage on fire as chances were created in premium.

Bagan were the first to come close with Pritam Kotal finding Darryl Duffy with a long ball. The Scottish striker did well to unleash a well-weighed shot, but the Bengaluru goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya was up to the task to deny Bagan the opener with a diving save to his left.

That was not to stop the Mariners as they continued to build their attacks, stitching passes without much trouble. At times, the Bengaluru defence too played into their hands with the likes of Nishu Kumar lunging into unnecessary tackles and even pulling his marker down. One such instance resulted in a free-kick, but Bhattacharya was once again alert to deny Balwant Singh on his goal line.

Bengaluru too came close to getting a goal or two. While skipper Sunil Chhetri and Daniel Lalhlimpuia were denied by Bagan’s central defensive pairing of Anas Edathodika and Eduardo Ferreria, Eugeneson Lyngdoh saw his shot go miss a by whisker. The second half saw Bengaluru come out and push for the lead with much more urgency. While Udanta Singh kept Subhashish busy with his nippy runs, Chhetri tried his best to make space on the left. But unfortunately, none of this led to anything.

In the closing stages, while Bagan did find the back of the net with Katsumi Yusa heading in a Sony Norde free-kick, the referee was quick to spot a foul on Bengaluru’s shotstopper and disallowed the goal to the disappointment of the visitors.