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Indian Football: Late goals help ATK hold Bengaluru

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi
February 22, 2020 21:31 IST
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BFC

IMAGE: Bengaluru FC ended their league stage campaign with 30 points. Photograph: ISL Media

Two late goals by ATK cancelled two scored in the first half by Bengaluru FC as their Indian Super League match ended in a 2-2 draw, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

Bengaluru FC ended their league stage campaign with 30 points and could possibly finish fourth, should Chenniayin FC win their final league game against NorthEast United.

Dimas Delgado (18') and Kevaughn Frater (35') were on the score-sheet for the home side while substitute Edu Garcia (86') and Michael Soosairaj (90') scored for the visitors.

Carles Cuadrat handed Kevaughn Frater his first start as he partnered Thongkhosiem Haokip upfront. Meanwhile, Antonio Habas, like Bengaluru, handed several of his star players on the bench as he named Dheeraj Singh in between the sticks.

The breakthrough came in the 18th minute when Parag Srivas was brought down on the edge of the box by Salam Ranjan. From the ensuing free-kick, Dimas Delgado's effort went straight into the back of the net.

ATK could have equalised soon after when David Williams' corner-kick was headed out by Harmanjot Khabra but the ball went straight to the feet of Jayesh Rane on the edge of the box. However, the Indian midfielder's feeble attempt went out of play.

Just after the half an hour mark, Haokip had to be taken off as he picked up an injury and Nili Padermo was brought in.

In the 35th minute, Frater scored his first goal for Bengaluru as he received a cut back from Leon Augustine and placed it with ease into the back of the net.

After the break, substitute Edu Garcia found himself in space and he tested Prabhsukhan Gill from distance but the goalkeeper was equal to the task.

The next big chance came for the home outfit when Erik Paartalu crossed for Padermo but the latter's shot hit the side-netting.

Garcia scored on his return to Bengaluru as he linked up with Krishna and Williams before seeing his first time shot beating Gill to make it 2-1 in the 86th minute.

ATK got the equaliser in the 90th minute when Garcia's free-kick found Michael Soosairaj whose shot deflected off Gursimrat Gill to beat Prabhsukhan in goal. 

Table-topper Mohun Bagan beat Churchill 3-0 to extend lead

Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan defeated Churchill Brothers FC 3-0 at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao to inch three points closer to their second Hero I-League title.

Former La-Liga and Senegalese striker Papa Babacar Diawara opened the scoring as early as the sixth minute, while VP Suhair (51st) and Tajik Komron Tursunov (58th) found the net twice in the second half to register the convincing victory.

The league leaders were off the blocks early with Diawara scoring his seventh in as many games.

Joseba Beitia played a free-kick out wide for Fran Gonzalez, who headed square for Diawara and the Senegalese tapped it home with the Churchill defence on his heals.

Churchill fought back creditably after the setback and there was a period of play when they missed three clear-cut chances in a space of five minutes with the Dawda Cessay-Willis Plaza combination working wonders.

Bagan's new defensive formation -- Trinidadian Daniel Cyrus and Gurjinder -- did well to absorb a determined Churchill push.

Young SK Sahil, in particular, was impressive in snatching the ball from the opposition.

The Green and Maroons were looking good going forward and they did create a couple of golden chances, but the first half failed to produce any more goals.

Soon after the restart, Suhair, another of Bagan's standout performers this season, doubled the lead as he cut inside from the left and opened-up a side-footer that beat Churchill goalkeeper at the near post.

Seven minutes after Suhair's strike, left-back Gurjinder found himself near Churchill's right corner flag and floated in a cross that took a slight touch off a defender and looped towards the centre of the goal.

Second-half substitute Tursunov, followed the ball perfectly, rushing in from near the top of the box to leap in front of a shocked Jovel Martins and with an aerial kick stabbed it into the back of the net.

Bagan too a comfortable 3-0 with more than half an hour play remaining in the game.

It was showtime after that and there was a span of play of about seven-eight minutes when Bagan missed at least four sitters with Diawara inexplicably missing two of them.

Bagan had a total of 18 shots out of which nine were on target.

The Kolkata outfit now has 32 points from 13 games, 11 clear of second-placed Punjab FC, while Churchill remain in third spot with 19 points from 12 games. 

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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