Late in the game, Cleiton Silva looked up and smashed a crossfield ball to Sunil Chhetri. The Indian captain looked on with slumped shoulders as the ball sailed over his head. That summed up Bengaluru FC’s performance on the night as they played out a goalless draw against Hyderabad FC at Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
The Indian Super League clash had room for a hero, someone to stand up and make a game of the contest. But on the night, there was none.
Bengaluru finished the game with just one shot, none on target, underlining the lack of creativity in the side. They had the ball, nearly as much as the opposition, but failed to fashion any threatening situations. Hyderabad, on their part, knew of the dangers their opponents possessed from set-pieces and did very well not to give away any set pieces in dangerous areas.
Played at a pedestrian pace, both teams opted to sit back and build slowly. In the first half, Erik Paartalu often dropped deep to allow Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh to provide width in attack. Hyderabad, meanwhile, moved the ball well through Joel Chianese and Halicharan Narzary in attack but with their full backs staying back and opting for a safety first approach, even they struggled to create many chances. Nevertheless, the best opportunity of the game came to Hyderabad. Six minutes before the half hour mark, a deep freekick from the left found Aridane Santana and the burly Spaniard’s close range header was palmed away with an outstretched right hand from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Despite shading the first half performance, Hyderabad ended it badly as they lost both Chianese and Lluis Sastre to injury.
After the break, Carles Cuadrat brought on Dimas Delgado in place of an anonymous Kristian Opseth, who had struggled to hold up the ball against a defence led by man of the match Chinglensana Singh, to gain control in midfield. However, the former champions struggled to break into the final third with Chhetri’s flashing shot from a half chance the best they created.
The Spanish tactician continued to do all he can to change the result by bringing on striker Deshorn Brown at the hour mark.
He also brought on Leon Augustine in place of an impressive Suresh Wangjam to add more pace and directness to their attack. There was another half chance for Cleiton Silva, goalscorer in the last match, after he was set free by Delgado, but the Brazilian’s attempt was well blocked.
At the other end, there was a late half chance for Aridane while Mohammed Yasir was wasteful with wayward efforts from range.