Bengaluru FC and Delhi FC drew 2-2 in their Durand Cup match at the Mohun Bagan field on Saturday night. Trinidadian forward Willis Plaza scored a double for Delhi FC, while Sivasakthi Narayanan and Bidyashagar Singh scored on either side of the half-time whistle for Bengaluru FC.
Bengaluru FC and Delhi FC played a close 2-2 draw in the Durand Cup Group C match at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata on Saturday. Sivasakthi Narayanan (27 ‘) put the Blues ahead before Willis Plaza (57’, 61 ‘) turned Delhi around in the second half. Substitute Bidyashagar Singh (75 ‘) again leveled Bengaluru, helping Naushad Moosa’s side win a match point.
Moosa made three changes to the team that defeated Kerala Blasters in the opening game, with Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Leon Augustine and Harmanpreet Singh replacing Akashdeep Singh, Namgyal Bhutia and Bidyashagar.
Ajith Kumar, who returned to captaining the team, had to be alert in the fifth minute to intercept a cross from Plaza to Himanshu Jangra in the area. The Blues’ first chance of the game came when Sivasakthi was thrown down the right wing, and the forward’s cut found Ajay Chhetri, whose shot was blocked by a slip from Suraj. At the other extreme, Lara Sharma had to be vigilant to deny Rinreithan Shaiza.
The Blues broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when Ajay’s free kick bounced off the wall and Delhi goalkeeper Lovepreet Singh failed to charge. Sivasakthi, alert enough to attack from close, put BFC ahead.
The final effort of the half fell on Delhi’s path as Shaiza broke free down the left wing, but saw her shot well blocked at the near post by Lara.
Looking to get back into the game, Delhi signed Victor Philip in place of Nikhil Mali as a halftime substitute. The Nigerian had an instant impact when his cross into the box was directed home by Plaza, passing Lara. Minutes later, the Trinidad and Tobago forward landed a second when his shot from a tight angle went over Lara at the near post to put the Blues down 2-1.
At the other end, substitute Bidyashagar, replacing Leon, also made an instant impact as he reached Harmanpreet’s center and found the back of the net from an almost impossible angle, to return Bengaluru to equality.
The Blues kept knocking on Delhi’s door in search of the winner and had some good chances to retake the lead. First, Bidyashagar saw his effort stopped by Lovepreet and Harmanpreet couldn’t get to the rebound. Later, Harmanpreet jumped free down the right and found Sivasakthi with a cross, but a combination of Loverpreet’s hands and a defender’s goal line clearance denied the striker his second of the game. The last chance saw Akashdeep sent free down the middle by Sivasakthi, but the youngster’s shot sailed inches from the post and the Blues had to settle for a draw.