NorthEast and Bengaluru share the points after a thrilling draw
Luis Machado scored either side of the break to help NorthEast United FC come from behind and share the points with Bengaluru FC in their 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) match at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. For Bengaluru, Juanan and Udanta Singh were on target.
- Machado scored the first goal of the match in the fourth minute.
- Bengaluru hit back nine minutes later through a Juanan equaliser.
- Udanta Singh put Bengaluru in the lead in the 70th minute. Eight minutes later Machado brought the Highlanders back in the game.
NorthEast United FC started the game with a lot of intent with Kwesi Appiah particularly looking ebullient. And the Highlanders didn’t have to wait long to get ahead in the match thanks to Suhair Vadakkepeedika setting up Rochharzela from the right flank and the latter’s shot in the fourth minute took a deflection off Machado in the box and Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu could do nothing.
Bengaluru FC improved in a big way after conceding that goal. And just nine minutes later hit back through a Juanan goal. A long throw-in by Rahul Bheke landed in the box at the feet of several players in front of goal and in the melee a lucky Juanan got the opportunity near the left post to put the ball in.
In the 19th minute, Ashique Kuruniyan made a nice run on the left and eventually went for the far post, however, an alert Gurmeet dove full-stretch to his left and took the strike off target. Harmanjot Khabra too could have doubled the lead for Bengaluru in the 26th minute but after smartly foxing a NorthEast player on the right he couldn’t execute a left-footed shot properly from inside the box to the great disappointment of his team-mates as the strike just went past the right post.
In the 43rd minute of the match, NorthEast’s Khassa Camara averted danger as he used his shin to put a corner-in away over the crossbar with Sunil Chhetri just lurking behind. Moments later Machado’s fiercely-struck free-kick from the left forced Gurpreet to leap and ward off the danger. That was the last piece of action of any significance in the first half as both teams went into the break at 1-1.
Gurpreet continued having a busy day at the office in the second half and seven minutes into it got in the way of Appiah’s goal-bound header. Life was no different for Gurmeet at the other end either. The game picked up the pace after the hour mark as Dimas Delgado failed to head in properly a nice long cross from right and then moments later Kristian Opseth was denied by a diving Gurmeet.
Bengaluru, however, did succeed in taking the lead in the 70th minute through substitute Udanta Singh who raced on the right to make a nice connection with the ball headed down by Chhetri from the other side of the box.
Against the run of play eight minutes later, Machado scored his second of the night to bring parity. The Portuguese pounced on a long ball and expertly beat Gurpreet to make it 2-2. Bengaluru tried to get back in the ascendancy but nothing came of the chances they created in the last few minutes, especially from one free-kick taken by Chhetri just outside the box.
With the draw, both Bengaluru (six points from 4 games) and NorthEast (nine points from 5 games) remain unbeaten in the league.
Hero of the Match: Luis Machado
These were Machado’s first goals in the Hero ISL and the Portuguese shone like a bright star for the Highlanders. Out of four of his shots, three were on target. As far as his passing play was concerned, he completed 13 out of his total 22 passes. He had five free-kicks in the game as well as five tackles.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award: Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: