Pune: Bengaluru FC squandered the chance to go top of the I-League table after the Blues played out a 1-1 draw against DSK Shivajians at the Balewadi Stadium here.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh's first goal for the club this season was cancelled in a matter of minutes by DSK striker Asier Pierrick Dipanda's header in the 37th minute to share spoils in what was a game played at a very fast pace.
The draw takes Bengaluru to 26 points, equal with Mohun Bagan who have played a game more than Ashley Westwood's side. East Bengal are in third with 24 points, having played as many games as the Blues.
Bengaluru's opener came in the 34th minute when Lyngdoh was at hand to tap home a rebound from close after Sunil Chhetri saw his freekick pushed to the post by Subrata Paul. But DSK found their equaliser just minutes later when Dipanda rose to nod home Juan Barraso's cross from the left.
The hosts switched gears after the goal with Douhou Pierre, Dipanda and Barraso linking up well but the Blues defence refused to buckle under pressure, seeing the half through at 1-1. Westwood rang in three changes from the side that beat Mumbai FC on Saturday. Skipper Chhetri and defender Keegan Pereira made the starting XI along with young Daniel Lalhlimpuia who came in for Kim Song Yong.
The Blues began the second half with a change, Westwood bringing in Ranjan Salam Singh for Curtis Osano. The Englishman's second change of the night came on the hour mark when he replaced Daniel with Lalchhuanmawia. The introduction of the nippy defender saw Chhetri move up to join CK Vineeth in attack.
The two almost combined for what looked like the lead when the skipper's nod down from Rino Anto's cross was intercepted by Milan Singh with Vineeth waiting at the other end. Minutes before the move, DSK were denied by the post after Pierrick's diving header from a Baljit Sahni cross, grazed the woodwork on its way out.
Pierrick came close again in the 85th minute but this time Amrinder Singh didn't need the post, diving on his left to push the strike out. Bengaluru could have had the winner in the 87th minute but were left to rue woeful decision making by Thoi Singh. The midfielder, in the box with the ball at his feet and Chhetri to square a pass to, chose to strike instead. But with Paul having his angles covered, Bengaluru could only wonder what could have been.
The Blues next host East Bengal in Bengaluru on Sunday.