ISL 5: Fortress witness to a cracker as Bengaluru, Jamshedpur share the spoils

Bengaluru: Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC side were left to rue dropped points as Jamshedpur FC pulled level on two occasions in a cracker of a match that ended 2-2 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Sunday. Nishu Kumar and Sunil Chhetri scored on either side of a Gaurav Mukhi equalizer, but a late goal from Sergio Cidoncha meant the spoils were shared in the Bengaluru’s second home game of the season.

For all the talk of flair that previews had predicted, the game saw the teams battling for scraps a little longer than they would have liked. But it was a half-chance in the 12th minute that sparked a switch in the way Bengaluru took the charge to Jamshedpur. Leaving his man behind, Udanta Singh sped down the right and cut the ball back in, only to see Sunil Chhetri five yards ahead of the ball.

The Blues sensed the chance to take control of things as they began pulling out the flicks, turns and inch-perfect passes in transition. But just when the frustration of having nothing to show for their effort began creeping in, Nishu turned up with a finish for the ages on the stroke of half-time.

Xisco Hernandez whipped a free kick into the box, one that Tiri managed to get his head to clear away. Mawihmingthanga waited to bring down the looping ball but Nishu, in a show of sheer desire, got ahead of the Jamshedpur man, brought the ball before hitting a sweet half-volley that sailed into the top corner with Subhasish Roy beaten all ends up.

The Blues took their lead into the break and controlled play for most of the second half, but substitute Gourav Mukhi levelled things as the game entered the final ten minutes of play. The youngster timed his run well to beat the offside trap and poke home Mario Arques’ through ball past Gurpreet at the far post.

Having lost their lead, Bengaluru shrugged off the disappointment and piled the pressure with vociferous support from the stands backing them up. The lead was reclaimed as Khabra floated in a long diagonal from the right to find Chhetri in the box who rose over his marker to head past a helpless Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in the Jamshedpur goal.

Chhetri had another chance in the dying minutes to kill the game after Miku threaded in a perfectly timed pass but his shot grazed the wrong side of the upright and rolled out. The miss came back to haunt the Blues as Sergio Cindoncha slotted home Arques’ low square into the box in the dying moments, in what was virtually the last move of the game.

The Blues now travel away for the first time this season as they take on FC Pune City on October 22.

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