The second game of the 6th season of ISL was at the home of the defending champions, Bengaluru FC.
They took on a new look Northeast United at their fortress. New signings R. Augusto and Ashique Kuruniyan both made their debuts for the home team. Meanwhile, Ghana international Gyan made his debut in India for Northeast. Under new coach Jarni, Northeast were looking to take the next step after their impressive top 4 finish last season.
Bengaluru were off in no time when Chhetri played Udanta through, but was a bit too much even for the ‘Flash’. Ashique got into the act when he raced past 3 Northeast players and was in on goal in seconds. But he dragged his shot wide. The Northeast full backs were in for a long day due to the pacey threat on both flanks. A deflected shot fell kindly to Chhetri, who failed to keep his shot on target. Northeast on the other hand had an opportunity to take the lead, but had their effort kept out by Gurpreet. But it was Bengaluru again on the attack. Augusto’s excellent defense splitting pass put Udanta through. But the winger lashed at the ball and sent it way off target.
It was end to end stuff at the Kanteerava. The best opportunity of the game however fell for Chaves. A half open net for the Northeast attacker who somehow managed to place it wide. Minutes later Gyan did find the back of the net only for the linesman to call it offside. Another chance for BFC saw Chhetri hit the defender at the post. For a player of his caliber, Chhetri knew he should have scored. This was the best opportunity for Bengaluru to take the lead. Both teams went into the half nil nil.
The start of the second half saw new signing Gyan almost score when his shot beat Gurpreet and hit the crossbar. It was pelting cats and dogs as the rain intensified making it harder for the players.
On the 64th minute, a long range effort from Nishu had the Northeast keeper stretching to protect his goal. The game slowed down after the 70 minute mark as both teams made sure no one made silly mistakes. No real chances were created by either teams.
With 4 minutes added on, Chhetri almost pulled off a Ronaldoesque goal. But his bicycle attempt however was a tame one and did not threaten the Northeast goal. The referee blew the full time whistle and both teams shared a point in their first encounter. Both teams rued missing their chances of taking all three points. R. Augusto was named the ‘Hero of the Match’ for his midfield dominance.