LUDHIANA: Bangalore United FC held FC Kolhapur City to a 1-1 draw at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Friday, under overcast skies, as the Weather Gods rained down in the first half.
Kolhapur were dominant for most parts of the game, but Bangalore got the goal early in the second half and managed to fend off their opposition for majority of the game. Their Goalkeeper Crystal Ann Pinto received the Player of the Match award for her heroics under the bar.
Bangalore United started creating the chances in the early exchanges, and even managed to score a goal, but they were flagged offside within the first five minutes.
FC Kolhapur City also started creating their chances once they got settled into the game and Kashmina MS started to exert her influence on the game. However, it ebbed and flowed both ways till both the sides went into the tunnel with neither team having broken the deadlock.
The second half went much in the same fashion with Bangalore United looking for the early goal. Contrary to the first half, however, they were successful this time, as their forward Paromita Sit bundled the ball over the line after a melee inside the Kolhapur six-yard box.
This goal gave more impetus to Kolhapur, who had their first real chance of the second half around the hour mark, when Renu soared up the right flank, and sent in a low cross which was met by Kshetrima Devi.
Her shot was saved by Bangalore goalkeeper Crystal Pinto, but the ball fell to Kunti Kumari. Incidentally, her shot too was cleared off the line by the defence. Eventually, this chance petered away after Kashmina’s shot was plucked out of the air by Pinto.
Kolhapur finally drew level with Bangalore United with 10 minutes of regulation time to go, when Pratiksha Mithari was played through inside the area, as she skipped past a defender and put it past the keeper.
Renu had the perfect chance to win it for Kolhapur in the dying embers of the game, when she soared up the right flank, cut inside and pulled the trigger. However, her shot brushed the outside of the upright and nestled into the side-netting.