Sunil Chhetri equals Ferran Corominas’ record as Bengaluru FC, FC Goa share spoils
Sunil Chhetri became the joint all-time leading goalscorer in Hero ISL history as he helped Bengaluru FC hold FC Goa to a 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Athletic stadium in Bambolim on Sunday.
The draw didn’t do either team any favours as they failed to close the gap on the teams in the semi-final spots.
Dylan Fox’s (41’) header had put the Gaurs in front but Chhetri’s goal (61’) levelled matters for the Blues. Neither team could score the decisive goal thereafter.
Bengaluru FC started the brighter of the two sides as they posed a greater threat in the opening exchanges. But it was FC Goa who carved out the first opening in the 18th minute.
Anwar Ali who collected a throw-in at his feet swung in a good cross for Devendra Murgaonkar but the FC Goa forward fired his header wide of the target.
Two minutes later, Bengaluru FC went close when Ali’s clearance fell to Iman Basafa whose powerful shot sailed just over the crossbar.
The next chance fell to FC Goa in the 37th minute when Jorge Ortiz put in a measured cross from Edu Bedia inside the box but the midfielder couldn’t keep his effort on target.
However, FC Goa didn’t have to wait longer to open the scoring as Bedia’s delivery was headed in by Fox at the far post in the 41st minute.
The Gaurs went into the break with their noses in front after a closely fought first half.
Marco Pezzaiuoli brought on Suresh Wangjam in place of Basafa for the second half and the Blues started well after the interval.
They were eventually rewarded in the 61st minute when Chhetri headed home a pinpoint cross from Ibarra to equalise and thereby score his 48th goal in Hero ISL history that took him level on top of the all-time goalscoring leaderboard with Ferran Corominas.
The Blues almost took the lead in the 69th minute when Roshan Naorem dribbled at the heart of the FC Goa defence, cut back on his left foot and fired a shot goalwards and it had to be saved by Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem.
Both managers made changes late in the game in a desperate attempt to claim all three points and the Blues came closest to stealing the win in stoppage time when Chhetri’s effort came off the crossbar.
Eventually, the points had to be split as both Bengaluru FC and FC Goa remained level on points and in eighth and ninth spot respectively.
The Blues next face rivals Chennaiyin FC on Wednesday while FC Goa take on Jamshedpur FC in their next encounter on Friday.