ISL 2020-21, BFC vs CFC highlights: Gurpreet heroics earn Bengaluru FC a point vs Chennaiyin FC

ISL, CFC vs BFC: Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC played out a goalless draw at the Fatorda Stadium.

Chennaiyin's Lanzarote in action against Bengaluru's Suresh in the ISL.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

This is Sportstar's ISL match blog of the encounter between Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao on Friday.

That's all we have for the night. We will be back again tomorrow with Odisha FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan.

REPORT | Chennaiyin left to rue missed chances, draws with Bengaluru

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Podcast - The merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan for ISL 2020-21 seemed like a match made in heaven, but fans didn't look pleased. Our reporters Shyam Vasudevan, Aashin Prasad and Amitabha Das Sharma delve into the reasons behind fans' displeasure and the raging hashtag #RemoveATK in the latest episode of 'The Full Time Show'.

Csaba Laszlo "Vishal didnt have many saves but we missed 5-6 chances. I am proud of my players and we are together as a unit. Lot of good things in the game. Nobody without mistakes but we missed so many chances. Against HFC, we missed so many chances. [Lanza's infleunce] Lanza is a good boy and he has everything we missed before. I dont have to explain. Most important thing is helping the players create chances but we should take the chances. I am a very religious man but I dont know.. The football gods. I dont know what we have done to them... (laughs) It's not nice. I know the fans. We are fighting and the boys are suffering. We are running and working everyday. At the end of the day we are not rewarded for good performances. Its painful. If you notice, we have stopped conceding chances from freekicks. I am going to congatulate my team. I wont give up and if the team shows this performances, maybe the football gods will touch us in the next 4 games. Lanza had two fantastic movemdents in 1st half. If he shot for the Isma chance, he could have scored. He is not the runner and if you give the ball to him he will run the game. I had to change [Thapa] because he wasnt 100%. With Lanza, I didn't take him off becuase he can help the team with the key passes and freekicks. Definetely he will help us in the next 4 games."

Naushad Moosa "Lucky to get the point. Not happy with how we played. In first half, we didnt play how we wanted to play. We were better in the second. Both teams missed lot of chances. Not really. we desperately wanted to win. We werent playing according to the plan in the second half. We conceded space and scoring opportunities. We needed to stay compact like how we played vs EB. We played unnecessary long balls. I was doing that during the water break and told them. We wanted to win and the frsutration was shown in the players. And I needed to calm them down. [Big games coming up] It all depends on Goa, NEUFC, HFC. It's a must-win situation and we should rely on our results."

Chhetri "I think the second half the chances we conceded things could have gone bad. We are running out of time. Balance of the game, we are happy with a point. [If Xisco should have been introduced earlier?] He just came out of quarantine, just been 4 days, It's not my call. Coaching staff didn't want to put too much pressure on him. We dropped back to add the numbers in midfield to make it difficult to play. [Tactical change in 4-4-2. Right formation?] In the first year when we had 40 points with all the players (Miku, Erik, Juanan) we had things were different. We dont have experience, injuries, had to let go of our coach midway. We don't have things going for us but we need to fight. I think we can finish in top four. But its difficult becasue the young kids shouldnt be getting into the team like this. Ajith, Leon, Parag, Bhutia are thrown in when the team isnt winning.

Phew! Bengaluru comes away with a point against a Chennaiyin side which has been poor in front of goal all season and today was no different. And on occasions the Chennaiyin players fired its shot on target, Gurpreet stood in the way. Both teams remain in same positions.  ISL 2020: Points Table

90'+3' The ball is cleared away.. FULL-TIME!

90'+3' Paartalu wins a corner off Sabia on the left side.

90'+2' Sipovic concedes a foul outside Chennaiyin's box with a barge on Xisco.

Three minutes of added time

90' Against the run of play, BFC gets a chance at the other end. Udanta plays in a cross for Chhetri who doesnt take a first time shot. Chennaiyin players converge to clear the ball away.

89' Isma strays offside once again...

84' OFF THE BAR! Memo with a piledriver from distance and the ball thumps against the post and comes out! Csaba Laszlo raises his arms and looks up to the heavens in despair.

83' Isma wins a freekick outside Bengaluru's box after challenging for the ball with Khabra. It looked like Isma was the one who made the foul with a lunging tackle to win the ball. Strange decision.

80' Handball by Pratik outside Bengaluru's box and he is booked.

78' CHANCE! Isma plays in Chhangte through on goal with a backheel and the winger takes a touch and fires in a left-footed shot and Gurpreet makes a superb save on the dive to stop the ball going into the net!

77' Oh dear... It's happened again. Chhangte is through on goal after a flick on header by Isma but the CFC no. 7 takes too many touches, looks to cut in on his right but is closed down.

76' Water break taken.

75' OFFSIDE! Xisco with a superb pickout to the backpost where Gonzalez fires into the net with a header but the flag goes up.

74' Back-to-back corners for Bengaluru but Chennaiyin does well to clear it away from danger.

73' BFC SUB: Ajith OFF, Xisco ON

70' Memo with a pickout for Lanza who dummies it behind for Chhangte. Chhangte's fizzed in cross is deflected just over his goal for a corner.

68' Thoi plays in a cross from the right for Isma but he can't get his first touch right. If he could have taken it in his stride, he could have had a free go at goal.

67' Chhangte skips past a Bengaluru defender on the left and swings in a cross to the backpost but Ajith is there to put it behind for a corner.

61' SAVE! Lanza with a superb pickout for Isma with a ball over Bengaluru's defence. The striker is through on goal but his shot is fired straight a Gurpreet from close range!

60' CFC SUB: Rahim OFF, Thoi ON

59' Jerry wins the ball inside Bengaluru's half and Isma squares it for Germanpreet, whose drive from distance is punched away by Gurpreet!

54' Cleiton with a one-two with Chhetri outside the box and the Brazilian goes for a volley from distance but the ball sails over the bar.

52' Foul called against Isma and Csaba Laszlo bellows a cry on the Chennaiyin bench.

50' Udanta flicks the ball over Jerry, who brings down the winger with a tug of his shirt. The Chennaiyin left-back is booked and he will now be suspended for the next game.

47' Lanza goes directly for goal to the far post corner and Gurpreet gets a fingertip save onto the crossbar and behind. But the referee signals goalkick.

46' CFC SUB: Thapa OFF, Germanpreet ON. Chennaiyin gets the half underway. Foul called against Parag for a challenge on Rahim.

SECOND HALF

Chennaiyin has dominated Bengaluru and has created the better of the openings in front goal without really testing Gurpreet. The Bengaluru custodian made a crucial interception to deny a tap-in for Isma after being set up by CFC's new signing Lanzarote. Bengaluru's best chance came off the boot of Chhetri but Sabia made a vital block.

45'+2' Good play by Isma on the ball before playing in Rahim on the right but the winger has strayed offside and the linesman puts his flag up.

Two minutes of added time.

44' Back-to-back fouls called against Lanza and Rahim. 18 fouls from both sides in the half.

40' Chennaiyin on the break.. Chhangte wins the ball off Khabra and plays in Lanzarote behind the Bengaluru defence. The midfielder's cutback for Isma is crucially intervened by Gurpreet before the striker can nod it into the net!

38' Chhangte cuts inside and fires a shot at goal from distance but it's straight at Gurpreet, who collects it comfortably.

34' CHANCE! Superb block by Sabia to deny Chhetri! Paartalu with a ball behind the defence for Khabra on the right and the cutback finds an unmarked Chhetri in the box. Chhetri's first-time shot, which looked goalbound is blocked by Sabia.

32' Cleiton with a high freekick into the Chennaiyin box but Kaith comes out to punch it away from goal.

30' Drinks break taken.

28' CHANCE! Thapa picks out Rahim's run with a defence-splitting pass but the forward overhits his cutback for Isma, who had made a good run into the box. Chennaiyin recyle possession and Reagan makes a run into the box and had two chances to find a teammate inside the box but he can't get his passes past the Bengaluru players.

27' Lanza finds Chhangte's run down the right but the winger's cross is poor and is straight into the hands of Gurpreet.

24' Foul in Bengaluru's half on the left flank. Lanza's freekick doesn't get past the Bengaluru defender inside the box and is cleared away.

21' Ajith with a foul on Isma near the halfway line as he was looking to run on to a long ball. Ajith goes into the referee's notebook.

17' Chennaiyin building pressure with sustained possession. Bengaluru pinned to its own half.

13' Jerry's cross is headed behind by Khabra for a Chennaiyin corner. Reagan picks up the second ball from the corner and he fires his shot over the bar with a left-footed effort.

11' CHANCE! Thapa is played down the right and he swings in a cross into the box on the bounce. Chhangte fires in a header on the run but its straight at Gurpreet, who catches it.

7' Bengaluru pus Chennaiyin under pressure just outside its own box and Cleiton wins possession from which Parag swings a cross into the box. Fran Gonzalez's shot from a narrow angle is saved by Kaith.

6' Isma with a driving run from midfield before unleashing a shot from distance which is parried away by Gurpreet. Rahim miscues his shot on the rebound but Gurpreet collects it comfortably.

4' Ball over the top for Isma by Lanza but the offside flag goes against him.

2' Ball over the top by Paartalu for Chhetri but Sipovic shields the ball into the hands of Kaith.

1' Bengaluru gets the game underway from right to left.

FIRST HALF

7.24 PM: Both teams make their way out to the middle. Chennaiyin in its away white kits and Bengaluru in blue.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu registered a cleansheet for the first time in 11 matches against SC East Bengal. Can he add another cleansheet against Chennaiyin FC today? - ISL/Sportzpics

 

6.55 PM: Leon Augustin and Rahul Bheke drop out of the Bengaluru FC XI from its 2-0 win over SC East Bengal. Erik Paartalu and Parag Srivas are named in the starting XI.

Both Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC's most influential Indian players -- Sunil Chhetri and Anirudh Thapa -- will go head-to-head at the Fatorda Stadium. - ISL/Sportzpics

 

6.45 PM: Manuel Lanzarote is back and he will make his debut for Chennaiyin FC. Anirudh Thapa returns from injury and is drafted into the starting XI. Enes Sipovic is back alongside Eli Sabia after his one-game suspension. Deepak Tangri, Thoi Singh and Germanpreet Singh make way from the Hyderabad FC debut.

6.30 PM: The team news is in

Bengaluru FC XI (4-2-3-1)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Parag Srivas, Francisco Gonzalez, Pratik Chaudhari, Ajith Kumar; Harmanjot Khabra, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam; Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri; Cleiton Silva.

Chennaiyin FC XI (4-4-2)

Vishal Kaith; Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Manuel Lanzarote, Lallianzuala Chhangte; Esmael Goncalves, Rahim Ali.

6 PM: Here are the predicted XIs

Bengaluru FC predicted XI (4-2-3-1)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Harmanjot Khabra, Francisco Gonzalez, Pratik Chaudhari, Ajith Kumar; Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam; Udanta Singh, Kristian Opseth, Sunil Chhetri; Cleiton Silva.

Chennaiyin FC predicted XI (4-4-2)

Vishal Kaith; Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Manuel Lanzarote, Lallianzuala Chhangte; Esmael Goncalves, Rahim Ali.

5.45 PM: Podcast - The merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan for ISL 2020-21 seemed like a match made in heaven, but fans didn't look pleased. Our reporters Shyam Vasudevan, Aashin Prasad and Amitabha Das Sharma delve into the reasons behind fans' displeasure and the raging hashtag #RemoveATK in the latest episode of 'The Full Time Show'.

Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of ISL 2020-21.

The seventh edition of the Indian Super League got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following the inclusion of SC East Bengal, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

ISL 2020: Points Table

MATCH PREVIEW:

After snapping its eight-match winless run with a 2-0 win over SC East Bengal, Bengaluru FC (BFC) will look to steal a march over its rivals in the battle for the last playoff berth when it takes on Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday.

In sixth position with 18 points, the 2018-19 champion is four points off the fourth spot, and would want to build on the positive result. Chennaiyin, eighth in the table with two fewer points, will be hoping to get out of a slump that has seen two draws and two defeats in the last four matches.

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But BFC interim coach Naushad Moosa will have to reshuffle his side again. Defender Rahul Bheke will be missing after having picked up his fourth yellow card, while youngster Leon Augustine – a breath of fresh air in recent games – is out with a hamstring injury. On match-eve, Moosa confirmed that defensive mainstay Juanan was unlikely to recover from the hamstring strain he suffered a week ago against Hyderabad FC.

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The return of midfielder Erik Paartalu from suspension should however give the side a fillip. New signing Xisco Hernandez is out of mandatory quarantine and available, though his long break from competitive football means he will only be eased into the squad and not thrusted in. The news that midfielder Dimas Delgado has returned to India will warm the BFC fans’ hearts, though he may be available only for the last two ties.

On the other hand, Chennaiyin boss Csaba Laszlo has his full roster of foreign players available for selection. It will serve the team well if Manuel Lanzarote, who has come in for the injured Rafael Crivellaro, can lend the midfield some creativity. Leading up to the contest, Chennaiyin has scored just once in four games.

Anirudh Thapa is in contention too and will hope to be more of an influence than he was in the narrow 1-0 loss in the reverse fixture in early December in which he limped off after just 15 minutes.

“With Thapa, I told him not to hurry because after his first injury he came back very quickly and got injured again,” said Laszlo. “But he's mentally and physically fit. We helped him come back from injury and he will help the team to get a victory over Bengaluru.”

“If we want to be in the top four, we have to win the remaining games. We have five finals. I hope we can showcase not just good football but also score goals. We created so many chances but didn't score. I hope that we have more luck against Bengaluru,” Laszlo added.

ISL 2020-21 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.