By Debayan Mukherjee,
AIFF Media Team
VASCO: Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC fired blanks in an exciting Group B Hero Federation Cup stalemate here at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Tuesday (December 30, 2014).
Both sides found themselves on the wrong side of luck as the woodwork came in between once apiece for either team in the second half.
Substitute Robin Singh and Bagan new-recruit Sony Norde’s strikes came off the post and crosspiece respectively. In the first half Bagan had the better chances with marquee player Pierre Boya and India striker Balwant Singh spurning good chances.
BFC made one change from their last match with Darren Caldiera coming in place of Eugeneson Lyngdoh while Mohun Bagan were playing their first game in the competition.
Both teams looked cagey in the initial exchanges with the first corner of the game taking 24 minutes to dawn upon the green and maroons. The thirteen-time Federation Cup winners had the best couple of chances either side of the first half to take the lead. In between it was a battle of attrition in the middle of the park as both teams shared spells of possession.
First it was Cameroonian Boya who after being put through by Japanese playmaker Yusa Katsumi, turned his marker effortlessly to shoot straight at BFC custodian Laithuammanwia Ralte from close. In stoppage time, Balwant under-hit a delightful Katsumi right-wing cross straight at the keeper.
The best BFC could muster was a half opportunity where Darren failed to meet a Beikhkhei- Beingaichho cross in front of goal.
Chances were better after change of ends as both the sides were denied by the framework. First it was substitute Robin Singh – coming in place of Thoi Singh – whose towering header off Rooney’s cross came off the vertical. Mohun Bagan were then returned the favour as Norde’s scorcher from 35 yards found the crosspiece.
In between the two misses, Boya’s powerful shot was well saved by Ralte. At the other end Paul made an important save to deny Rooney at the death as the tie ended in a stalemate.
Posted on : Tuesday December 30, 2014