Bengaluru, Pune share the spoils after battle at the top
Bengaluru FC played out their first draw in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday when FC Pune City held them to a 1 – 1 score-line. Sarthak Golui gave the Stallions the lead in the first half before Miku equalised for the Blues in the second period.
Bengaluru attacked from the very first minute with Miku cutting inside and putting in a low cross for Sunil Chhetri who was right in front of goal. However, Baljit Sahni was at hand to clear the ball away. The visitors then took the lead in the 20th minute after Emiliano Alfaro squared the ball to Sarthak in front of goal for the 20-year-old to hit a powerful shot that went in despite taking a touch off the Bengaluru defence.
Four minutes after the half-hour mark, Miku let fly from outside the box, but Pune custodian Vishal Kaith was well-placed to palm the ball away for a corner. That was the last bit of action from the half as the Stallions went into the break with the one-goal advantage.
Pune had a great opportunity eleven minutes after the restart. Marcelinho played in a ball from the right towards Diego Carlos, but before the latter could tap in, Juanan managed to get in the way to see out the danger.
With a quarter of an hour to play, the Blues equalised. Substitute Semboi Haokip chipped a cross into the box from the right and Miku was present to hook the ball into the net with a first-time finish.
A few seconds later, Pune could have gone ahead again. Carlos managed to get through on goal, but his attempt to round off keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was thwarted when Bengaluru’s shot-stopper stuck out a leg to dispossess him.
Ten minutes from time, Toni Dovale stood up for a free-kick and managed to get a good connection on the ball. Kaith though who was initially slightly wrong-footed, made a good reflex save. Right on the stroke of full-time, the Blues missed a glorious chance to grab a winner. Semboi did well to set Miku up right in front of goal, but to everyone’s surprise, the Venezuelan blasted his shot off target.
Then in injury time, Marcelinho tried to curl in an effort from the edge of the box, but Gurpreet was alert enough to palm it away. It proved to be the last chance of the match as the spoils were shared between the top two teams in the league.
Club Award: Bengaluru FC and FC Pune City
Swift Limitless Player: Sunil Chhetri
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Semboi Haokip
Amul Fittest Player: Rahul Bheke
Emerging Player: Sarthak Golui
Hero of the Match: Miku
Watch the match highlights here: