Hyderabad FC salvaged a creditable one-all draw against defending champion, Bengaluru FC, thanks to an injury-time goal from substitute Robin Singh in an Indian Super League (ISL) game at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Friday night.
MATCH BLOG | Hyderabad 1 - 1 Bengaluru, As it Happened
It was Bengaluru which shot into lead in the second minute of the match with the brilliance of star striker Sunil Chhetri. Latching on to a terrible miss-pass from Hyderabad's Laldanmawia Ralte, Chhetri sprinted down the centre, closely marked by Gurjtej Singh.
Showing his class and opportunism, he hoodwinked the Hyderabad defender and showed great control even while almost being tripped in the tackle only to tap the ball gently to the right of the diving goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh.
A blow which had clearly dented the confidence of the home team, which has struggled so far in it's debut season with just one win from five games. It could have been 2-0 for Bengaluru within minutes but the enterprising combine of midfielder Udanta Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan failed to produce the desired finish inside the box as the latter's right-footer just went over the bar.
Clearly, for most of the first-half, Hyderabad defence was under pressure but to its credit the custodian and captain Kamaljit was equal to the task and so were Sahil Panwar, Rafael Lopez Gomez and Matthew Kilgallon. As the first half was coming to an end, there were too many rough tackles from both sides.
Bengaluru had another chance of scoring the second goal when Chhetri essayed a beautiful backpass to the waiting Raphael Augusto whose shot was well anticipated and blocked by Kamaljit.
On resumption, Hyderabad FC showed more enterprise and went on the offensive with most of the moves initiated by the classy forward Marcelinho but again he lacked support from his teammates, surprisingly with not many moves emanating from the flanks for the home team tonight.
Soon, Hyderabad had the misfortune of seeing defender Sahil Panwar shown the red card in the 57th minute for a dangerous tackle on Udanta which made things more difficult for the host. There were a series of forays by Bengaluru FC thanks to the brilliance of Ashique, Udanta and Chhetri.
That was the phase when Hyderabad FC custodian showed solidity under the bar to pull off some impressive saves. Just when it looked as though the home team was heading for another defeat, against the run of play, substitute Robin Singh latched on to a poor collection from custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who failed to block a close range shot from another substitute Aashish Rai, who showed lots of speed and skill in the final few minutes.
Robin, showing good control, managed to find the back of the net to trigger off celebrations in Hyderabad camp and in the stands.
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