ISL 2020-21: Bengaluru, Hyderabad share spoils in tepid display

Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC played out a tepid 0-0 draw in a 2020-21 Indian Super League outing at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday.

It was a second successive draw for Bengaluru FC, while Hyderabad FC would be happy with a point to add to the win it secured over Odisha FC in the opener.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Bengaluru FC (BFC) and Hyderabad FC (HFC) played out a tepid 0-0 draw at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.

The way BFC boss Carles Cuadrat walked off the ground, raging against the match officials, told the story; it was a second successive draw for the 2018-19 champion, while Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad would be happy with a point to add to the win it secured over Odisha FC in the opener.

MATCH BLOG | ISL 2020-21 highlights: Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC play out 0-0 draw

However, injuries to key players Joel Chianese and Lluis Sastre, both of whom had to be withdrawn by half time, are sure to keep Marquez worried.

BFC and Hyderabad passed the ball around in the opening 20 minutes but seldom threatened each other’s goals. The first real chance fell to Hyderabad’s Aridane Santana in the 24th minute, but his header from six yards out off a Lluis Sastre free kick was palmed away superbly by Gurpreet Sandhu.

Just after the half hour mark, Hyderabad lost forward Chianese to an ankle injury. A hamstring injury to the creator Sastre ushered in the half time break. The departure of one midfield lynchpin led to BFC bringing on its own, Dimas Delgado. He was welcomed with a clattering tackle and play unfolded the same way it had in the first half – lots of midfield action but very little in the final third.

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BFC’s best chance came in the 78th minute when Delgado found Cleiton Silva on the left flank. The quick-footed Brazilian broke in, faked a shot to beat a defender, but his thunderous drive from close was blocked off by centre-back Odei Onaindia.

Santana could have nicked it for Hyderabad five minutes from time, but it was not to be, as he failed to get a toe on a fine delivery from the left.