Durand Cup 2019: Bengaluru FC, ATK salvage late draws against Army Red, Indian Navy

Bengaluru FC's reserve side struggled to cope with the energy-sapping humid conditions, failing to convert a flurry of chances against Army Red in the Durand Cup.

Bengaluru FC players celebrate their equaliser against Army Red.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The reserve side of ISL champion Bengaluru FC managed to salvage a point holding Indian Army Red to a 1-1 draw in its opening group ‘A’ league assignment of the 129th Durand Cup, here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday.

The second match of the evening, held at the same venue, saw Indian Navy holding two-time ISL champion ATK’s second team to a 1-1 draw in a group ‘B’ fixture.

Durand Cup, As it happened: Army Red, Indian Navy hold Bengaluru FC, ATK to draws

The two services sides succeeded in finding the lead first before their ISL opponents forced a draw riding on late penalties coming their way.

Army Red found the lead in the injury-time of the first half on a strike from forward Liton Shil before Bengaluru restored parity late in the 82nd minute when Suresh Singh Wangjam scored from the spot.

The Navy team went ahead in the 19th minute when Harikrishna A.U. found the net as ATK made the comeback off a 88th minute penalty conversion by captain Prabir Das.

The ISL title holder started on a promising note creating two good opportunities in the first quarter of the action. The goal, however, remained elusive as forward Edmund Lalrindika could not capitalise on the two occasions, in the 12th and 19th minutes respectively, when he had the Army Red goalkeeper Chandra Bahadur Tamang at his mercy.

Having lost the opening match to East Bengal (0-2), the Army side needed a win to keep itself afloat in the tournament. Army Red created few chances in the opening half before Shil found the right touch to divert home a low cross from Sunil B.

The Armymen held on to the lead till the 81st minute when Bengaluru was awarded a penalty following a foul on its wing-back Nmgyal Bhutia. Suresh Wangjan, the most hardworking name in Bengaluru's attack, converted from the spot to help his side restore parity.

The result: Group A - Army Red 1 (Liton Shil 45+4)drew with Bengaluru FC 1 (Suresh Singh Wangjam 82-pen); Group B – Indian Navy 1 (Harikrishna A.U 19) drew with ATK1 (Prabir Das 88-pen).

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