Bengaluru-Goa match ends in a goalless draw

Bangalore: Bengaluru FC and Sporting Clube de Goa played out a goalless draw to split points in their Airtel I-League match here at Bangalore Football Stadium Saturday.

The draw takes Bengaluru FC and Sporting Clube de Goa to 15 points each from nine matches.

The first half saw a lot of action from both the sides, but Bengaluru FC kept constant pressure in the box. However, they failed to break Sportings defence as they squandered some easy chances to beat the rival goalkeeper.

It was the visitors who created early chances in the first half. In the ninth minute, Arturo Garcia`s shot missed the goal by a whisker, while in the very next minute, Victorino Fernandes failed to capitalise on a pass from Rowllin Borges.

Bengaluru FC`s Sunil Chhetri, who recently became India`s highest goal scorer in international match, fired one from the left to Thoi Singh in the fifth minute, but only to find the ball sailing past keeper Ravi Kumar.

The Aussie striker Sean Rooney, who had scored six goals in the first five matches in Bangalore, failed to strike even once. Nevertheless, he showed a lot of promise in the first half as he gave some jitters inside the visiting box.

Rooney`s best chance came in 19th minute when he just needed to tap the ball at either side of the rushing goalkeeper but kicked straight into his belly.

Ravi Kumar brought some effective saves to stop Rooney from scoring twice.

He brought Sporting supporters to their feet as he cleared a shot fired by Thoi Singh in the crucial 69th minute.

Bengaluru FC`s goalkeeper Pawan Kumar, too, made a great save to deny Sporting`s Jovel Martin from scoring the opener.

The best chance for the hosts came in the dying moments of extended four-minute when Chhetri was off-sided after he went for a perfect lob from substitute Robin Singh, who was brought in place of Beingaichho.

Sporting also came up with fine moves with Garcia and Boima Karpeh making forays twice into the hosts box but failed to fire it into the net.

The visitors survived a major scare after captain Mathew Gonsalves nearly headed a self-goal after he tried to clear a lob from Keegan Perreira in 77th minute. The ball hit the top of the bar, bounced twice on the line, before the referee called for a corner.

In contrast to the first half, the second half was a drab display by both teams, appearing fatigued 55 minutes into the game, excluding 15 minutes break.

Both the teams tried their best to break the deadlock. Though both Bengaluru FC and Sporting created chances, their strikers failed to get the final touch.

At the close, the two teams had to be satisfied with one point each from the match. Sporting`s Gonzalo Neila was adjudged the Man of the Match.