Pune visit Bengaluru and steal a draw

Bengaluru FC hosted FC Pune City in the Hero Indian Super League season 4 at the Sree Kanteerva Stadium in Bengaluru yesterday (16-02-2018)

With an aim to consolidate their chances of making it to the play-offs, Pune City FC came out all guns blazing against hosts Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League encounter at Sree Kanteerava Stadium. With the best home record, Bengaluru were hoping to see off the Pune side with three points. But, Pune FC being just below Bengaluru in the points table gave a tough fight for a hard earned point for both the teams.

Albert Roca fielded a strong defence with Juanan and John Johnson playing center-backs in a 4-man defence with in-form full-backs Rahul Bheke and Subashish Bose. Lenny Rodrigues and Dimas Delgado were bossing the midfield with their passes and Udanta Singh started after missing the last ISL game against Goa.

Both the teams had a very composed start to the match with Pune pressing high in the Bengaluru half. BFC kept getting away with slick, intricate passing through the defence and midfield. 27 minutes into the game, a long ball opened up Bengaluru’s defence as Emiliano Alfaro made a darting run towards goal. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu parried away Alfaro’s attempt only to see the ball roll towards Sarthak Golai the youngster who scored through Juanan’s legs into an unguarded goal as Sandhu was off the line. Pune went into the break with a lead and much needed confidence which they lacked in the reverse fixture at Balewadi Stadium where they lost 1-3.

Bengaluru started the second half with more conviction and continued to apply pressure on the away team. Roca made changes to the team, with Udanta and Subashish Bose giving way to Alwyn George and Nishu Kumar respectively and later Lenny Rodrigues came off for Semboi Haokip. BFC looked to push through the Pune defence with all they had. 35 minutes past the break, Semboi put in a beautiful cross for a Miku tap-in to ensure a point for Bengaluru.

Pune FC have never secured an ISL play-off spot, however, hanging on to 2nd place in the table, the team looks to be very close to one. But with Chennai, Jamshedpur, Goa and the famous Blasters breathing down their necks, this is the time they must not lose momentum and continue their winning ways.

 

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