Bengaluru: Defending champions Bengaluru FC were held to a goalless draw by Dempo SC in their I-League 2015 opener at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. The visitors dominated possession in the match but the home side had the better chances including a penalty that was missed by skipper Sunil Chhetri. Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani was adjudged man of the match.
FULL TIME: Bengaluru FC 0-0 Dempo SC
92'- Dempo miss a late smash and grab as Fernandes' centre is skied by George.
91'- Yet another ball, meant for Chhetri, was intercepted by Lenny who has been immense in this match.
90'- Three minutes have been added by the officials.
88' - Kattimani snaps up the attempted shot-cum-cross from Eugene who bombed deep into the Dempo box.
87'- Bengaluru make their first change by taking off Rooney and getting on Vineeth
86'- Still no sign of this deadlock being broken. The result favors the visitors.
84'- Westwood on the touchline engages in some banter with Nirmal who was taking a throw-in.
83'- Francis floats in a corner that is met by Agnus who directs it well but he fails to get any real power behind.
81'- Mandar's fired a shot on goal and fails to connect it sweetly. His effort did not do justice to the lovely free-flowing move that led to creating that opening.
80'- Despite dominating possession, Dempo have failed to carve open the Bengaluru defense.
78'- Lenny's hopeful long range attempt is way off mark.
77'- Agnus displays his brilliant defending abilities by holding off Rooney and then turns him to win the ball and move forward.
75'- Lenny bursts forward through the middle and finds Mandar on the left who drags his shot across the face of the goal. Nobody at hand to tap that ball in.
73'- Chhetri vs Chhetri! Sunil turns and twits Nirmal on the left flank and is eventually fouled by the latter.
72'- First real attempt of the match from open play for Chhetri who lets one fly on the run. His effort is just wide of Kattymani's right post.
70'- Peter, who just came in, gets a warm and unfair welcome with an elbow from Thoi. Play is stopped.
69'- Yet another needless foul from Dempo. Lenny prevents a pass using his hands and immediately knows his mistake putting his hands on his face.
68'- Dempo make their second change. Jewel Raja is replaced by Peter Carvalho.
67'- Alwyn again tries to work his way through, but fails to find a pass for Fernandes.
66'- Johnson headed clearance fell kindly for Lenny who struck a short after taking a touch. His effort is lacked both power and precision.
65'- Agnus plays a lovely long ball forward to Alwyn who is ruled off-side.
63'- Fifth yellow card of the match awarded to Alwyn George for obstructing Curtis who was about to launch a free-kick forward.
62'- Cardozo defends well, sticking close to Robin and forcing him to play the ball out of play.
61'- 3 Bengaluru FC players warming up on the touchline. No activity in the Dempo camp.
60'- Long ball played into the skipper Chhetri, who can't win the race to keep it in play.
59'- Chhetri clips a ball for Rooney, but Agnus has it covered so Rooney did not bother chasing it.
56'- The second half has followed a similar pattern as the first with Dempo dominating in possession. However, both teams failing to create substantial chances.
54'- Rhythem of the play is broken down again as Thoi is fouled by Alwyn.
52'- Dempo can't do much from the resulting free-kick, which is fired way off the mark.
51'- Jewel wins a free-kick in a decent position for the visitors. That came after Dempo had a neat little phase of passing with all their midfield men involved.
49'- Every Dempo attack has been orchestrated by Lenny from the middle. The lanky midfielder has been everywhere in the second half.
47'- Jewel fires one from distance. No problem for Ralte.
46'- Beikhokhei's cross has Kattymani scrambling and conceding a needless corner. Luckily, Bengaluru can't take advantage from the resulting corner.
46'- Here we go...
And finally the Dempo players arrive to play the second forty-five.
Bengaluru players make their way out on the ground for the second half.
HALF-TIME: Bengaluru FC 0-0 Dempo SC
45'- Johnson sanctioned a yellow card for a needless foul.
44'- Kattymani pulls off a save with his legs! Chhetri's penalty lacked power and it was fired down the middle. Kattymani is fired up after that save!
43'- Penalty awarded to Begaluru for as Rooney was brought down by Agnus. Chhetri to take it. Agus turns from hero to zero in a minute.
42'- Robin did well to hold off his man and lob the ball, deflected by Kattymanni, in for Rooney. The Austrlian did well to adjust himself and tap the ball that was saved off the line by Agnus.
40'- Sunil Chhetri's attempted cross flies into the crowd summing up his performance so far.
38'- Robin attempts to combine with Rooney. But the Australian's left footed effort rolls along the grass straight into the hands of Kattymani.
36'- The vociferous home support has so far failed to inspire the Bengaluru team. Dempo are dominating the middle of the park now.
34'- Ralte pulls off a double save. Raja's shot from outside the box was awkwardly dealt with by the keeper. The rebound fell to Narzary who fired in a shot and the keeper made amends for his first error by parrying away the ball.
32'- That Rooney incident seems have to have woken up the fans out of their momentary slumber. Suddenly the tempo of the game seems to have been raised by both sides.
30' - A visibly frustrated Robin then fouls Roy again. He really needs to calm down.
29'- Rooney goes down in the penalty box after entangling himself with Cardozo. Huge appeals from players and fans turned down by ref Bakshi.
28'- Sloppy from from Dempo has Lenny Rodrigues, under no pressure, plays a pass straight out of play.
26' - Papas will be delighted with his team's starts as the Goans have controlled 67% of the first half possession so far.
25'- Robin Singh is pushing his luck. On a yellow, he concedes yet another foul by bringing down Cardozo.
23'- Keegan hooks in a cross that is easily latched on to by Kattimani.
21'- Resulting corner from Romeo (who seems fine now), was met by Angus who was left completely unmarked. Fortunately for the home side, his header was off the mark. Best chance of the match so far!
19'- Romeo goes down, grimacing in pain after Beikhokhei's challenge from behind. But the replay suggests the Goan land twisted his ankle. Corner.
18'- Mandar unleashes a left-footer from long range but Ralte is solid.
17'- The home fans are letting out a roar as soon as the men in blue move forward with the ball. Wonderful home support!
16'- New boy Nirmal prevents the advances from Keegan on the left.
14'- Robin Singh shown the yellow card by the ref after he elbowed Roy during an aerial challenge. Those two are locked in an intense battle. Both on yellow cards!
13' - Dempo's best chances have come from the right where livewire winger Romeo seems to be working his socks off.
12'- Beikhokhei plays the ball into Rooney, who tries to volley it on the turn. Blocked!
11'- Westwood, dressed smartly in a black shirt, instructing his players from the touchline.
9'- Eugene tries to make headway from the right side, but the defenders do their job.
8'- First yellow card of the match has been handed to Debabrata Roy after he kicked out at Robin Singh. Some heated words exchanged between them. Things hotting up at the Kanteerava Stadium.
6'- Cardozo goes down holding his face after an aerial duel with Robin Singh. Oddly, the foul was given against the him by the ref. No outcome from the resulting free-kick.
5'- As the commentators point out, Dempo has never beaten Bengaluru in any competition so far.
4'- Midfielder Lenny Rodrigues attempts a long-range effort on goal but Ralte has nothing to worry about.
2'- Star of the ISL, Romeo Fernandes tried to cut inside from the right but the defender holds firm and thwarts the attack.
1'- Here we go...
"It is a great game for the neutrals. Playing Bengaluru at home is not easy. There are no easy pickings in the I-League," says veteran Dempo star Clifford Miranda.
The two teams are out on the pitch and ready to go. We are only a few minutes away from kick-off.
We have line-ups for both teams:
Bengaluru FC XI: Ralte,Curtis, Johnson, Keegan, Rino, Eugene, Thoi, Beikhokhei, Chhetri, Robin, Rooneey
Subs: Pawan, Gurtej, Shankar, Siam, Vineeth, Sawhney, Chhuantea
Dempo SC XI: Kattymani, N. Chhetri, Agnus, Cardozo, Roy, Rodrigues, Shaikh, Fernandes, Narzary, R. Fernandes, Desai
Subs: Colaco, Nayak, Miranda, George, Singh, Carvalho
The first match of the I-League's 8th edition between Salgaoncar FC and Pune FC ended in a 1-1 draw at Goa's Fatorda staidium. Anthony D'Souza's first half goal for the visitors was leveled by Gilbert Olivera in the second half to earn the home team a well-fought draw. Now, let us turn our attention to the second match of the day between defending I-League and newly-crowned Federation Cup champions Bengaluru FC and India's most successful club Dempo SC.
Bengaluru FC vs Dempo SC preview
Defending Champions Bengaluru FC will start this year's I-League campaign as favourites when they take on Goa's Dempo in the eighth season, which kicks off at Sree Kanteerava Stadium here today.
This year's matches have been shifted to Sree Kanteerava Stadium from the Bengaluru Football Stadium as it is set for a major renovation in a bid to host 2017 FIFA Junior World Cup.
Bengaluru made a resounding debut to the tournament by winning the title last year with a league of good players in their repertoire -- India football captain Sunil Chhetri, forwards Sean Rooney and Robin Singh, who played stellar role in helping their team clinch the title.
Not far behind were the performances of indomitable defenders John Johnson and Curtis Osano.
Bengaluru have strengthened their team further by drafting quality players like former junior international and England's Joshua Walker, promising 18-year-old rookie Udanta Singh, and experienced midfielder and former Randajied United captain Eugeneson Lyngdoh.
Bengaluru have been unbeaten against the Goan club, who are in a rebuilding mold, in the previous three matches.
Speaking to reporters at the formal launch of the 2015 edition of I-League, Chhetri said, "Being the champions and playing at home, the pressure will be on us for sure, but our coach (Ashley Westwood) has told us to focus more on performance than the result."
Reminiscing great encounters with Dempo, Chhetri said while Goans were the best opponents, his team would be going into the game with a positive frame of mind.
"We have had great encounters on earlier occasions, but tomorrow we will take to the field with positive frame of mind," he said.
Dempo's Clifford Miranda said Bengaluru are the defending champions and team to beat, but Dempo are here to win with a bunch of young talented players.
"Bengaluru FC is the best team in India and the team to beat. Ours is a young side, but we are here to win," he said.