ISL: Garcia, Soosairaj strike late to deny Bengaluru win

Chennaiyin FC can now grab third place with a victory against NorthEast United FC away on Tuesday. Any other result will benefit BFC.

ATK players celebrate Soosairaj's equaliser against Bengaluru FC.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Bengaluru FC missed the chance to seal third spot in the ISL after being held to a 2-2 draw by ATK at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. A second-string BFC side was leading 2-0 until the fag end, courtesy first-half goals from Dimas Delgado and Kevaughn Frater. But ATK hit back in the last five minutes through goals from substitutes Edu Garcia and Soosairaj to deny BFC the win.

Chennaiyin FC can now grab third place with a victory against NorthEast United FC away on Tuesday. Any other result will benefit BFC.

AS IT HAPPENED

On the day, ATK, despite having sealed second position, put out a full strength side that included top-scorer Roy Krishna. But it showed little verve for large tracts of the contest. Only in the final quarter did it hit the stride; in the 86th minute Garcia played two delightful one-twos in succession with Krishna and David Williams before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.

Soosairaj’s equaliser came when his weak shot from the edge of the area deflected off Gursimrat Singh Gill and looped above BFC goalie Prabhsukhan Singh Gill into the goal.

Dimas opened the scoring for Bengaluru from a free-kick. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

 

Earlier, BFC opened the scoring in the 17th minute through a free-kick from Delgado. Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh -- of FIFA U-17 World Cup fame -- flapped at the ball but didn’t have the strength to parry it away. The visitor almost hit back immediately through a corner but Harmanjot Khabra was at hand to effect a goal-line clearance. The host doubled the lead on 35 minutes when Leon Augustine dashed past defender Victor Mongil on the right flank and crossed to an unmarked Frater to drive home.

With the strike, the Jamaican, making his first start for the club, would have expected to be on the winning side. But it was not to be.

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