Sunil Chhetri’s 50th Hero ISL goal goes in vain as Hyderabad FC trump Bengaluru FC

Hyderabad FC extended their lead at the summit with a 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC in match 88 of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Friday.

Javier Siverio (16') and Joao Victor (30') gave Manuel Marquez's men a two-goal lead in the first half but Marco Pezzaiuoli's side showed character in the second half. However, they could only make the net bulge once, courtesy of Sunil Chhetri’s right-footed strike (87').

Pezzaiuoli’s team, who had won their last three matches in the Hero ISL began the game on the front foot. They dominated possession and pinned Hyderabad FC in their own half with their incessant pressing.

Hyderabad FC began to beat the Blues’ press around the ten-minute mark and straightaway conjured opportunities. In the sixteenth minute, Siverio put his team in front when he received a delivery from the left by Rohit Danu. The Indian’s cross fell between Bartholomew Ogbeche and Siverio, with the latter blasting a powerful strike past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Marquez's side had a chance to double their lead when a lobbed pass found Siverio completely free inside the penalty area. He tried to lob the ball over the keeper but hit the crossbar.

Bengaluru FC squandered a big chance to equalize in the 24th minute when Roshan Singh Naorem floated a left-footed cross into the box from a free kick. Unfortunately, it missed the target and also evaded the BFC players. There was no such misfortune for Hyderabad FC in the 30th minute when Victor capitalized on some slack defending to slot the ball into the bottom corner.

Bengaluru FC were quicker out of the blocks in the second half but couldn’t be decisive inside the box as a few half chances went begging. In the 57th minute, Prince Ibara found himself in space inside the box. However, Juanan produced a stunning block to deny him.

The Blues kept pushing for a goal and were eventually rewarded in the 87th minute. Udanta Singh ventured on a mazy run down the right flank and set up his captain, with the latter making no mistake. In the process, Chhetri also became the first player to register 50 Hero ISL goals.

Bengaluru FC tried their best to restore parity but their attempts were thwarted as Hyderabad FC snapped the Blues’ impressive unbeaten streak. The victory also meant that HFC extended their lead at the top of the table, whereas the Blues remain 3rd on the points table.

Hero ISL 2021-22 standings

Hyderabad FC’s next game is against FC Goa on 19th February, whereas Bengaluru FC take on NorthEast United FC a day earlier.

Hero ISL 2021-22 fixtures

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