The tendency to improve is always a distinctive feature of a team on the rise, and shades of that was evident as Bengaluru FC came from behind to draw 1-1 against Hyderabad FC at the Gachibowli Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 tonight.

Simon Grayson had inspired a remarkable turnaround for the Blues last season, when they finished runners-up in the final. Though they rolled over teams in the second half of the campaign, the Blues never managed to secure a point when the opponent scored first. That facet of their gameplay seems to be developing now, with Bengaluru defeating East Bengal FC in a similar fashion last month before scrapping through to bag a point against Hyderabad today.

The home side got ahead, thanks to Mohammed Yasir in the 35th minute. The 25-year-old has netted only six times across his six seasons in the league, but he showed skills synonymous to a striker when he brought down a long pass by Oswaldo Alanís and struck it past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Yasir beat his marker Slavko Damjanovic and displayed some fine footwork to help Hyderabad edge ahead in the contest.

Bengaluru responded by bringing Spanish midfielder Javi Hernandez onto the field. Case in point, Hernandez was the differential point in the aforementioned East Bengal clash too. Here, he didn’t bag a goal contribution, but he initiated the move that tore apart the Hyderabad defence within a span of seconds. He pulled off a pass that met the onrushing Halicharan Narzary on the left flank. Narzary laid out an assist for Ryan Williams merely yards away from Gurmeet Singh in the 58th minute.

The Australian international finished off the move, as Grayson breathed a sigh of relief on the touchline. Bengaluru had some brilliant passages of play thereafter, with Suresh Singh Wangjam and Sunil Chhetri coming close to netting the winner. Both teams rounded off with four shots on target, and they converted once each to share spoils from this hard-fought encounter.

Key Performer of the Match

Halicharan Narzary (Bengaluru FC)

The 29-year-old stepped up to the challenge against his former club, notching an assist in addition to creating four goal-scoring opportunities, crossing twice, in addition to making one tackle and three clearances each.

What’s next for both teams?

Bengaluru FC will play their next ISL match against NorthEast United FC in Guwahati on November 26, whereas Hyderabad will be locking horns against Punjab FC on November 7 in New Delhi.

Brief Scores

Hyderabad FC 1 (Mohammad Yasir 35’) – 1 (Ryan Williams 58’) Bengaluru FC