Saturday , May 25 2024

Bengaluru FC endure narrow 1-2 defeat to Sreenidi Deccan FC!

Bengaluru FC finished their South Zone qualifying campaign in the RF Development League with a 1-2 defeat against Sreenidi Deccan FC at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Friday. An injury-time penalty from Umasankar M (90+6′) helped Sreenidi Deccan on their way to three points in a highly competitive game at the BFS.

Having sealed qualification to the National Group Stage, Bengaluru FC head coach Kaizad Ambapardiwala made seven changes to the lineup that started in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Kickstart FC.

Both teams started well with chances falling at either end. Eventually, it was Sreenidi Deccan who found the breakthrough, through Pauminthang Munsong in the 26th minute. The winger’s run behind the Bengaluru defence was picked out by a pass from Arun Kumar, before Munsong curled his effort past Sharon into the bottom left corner.

The Blue Colts continued to press on, dominating the possession and creating more chances, but they couldn’t breach the Deccan backline, with Shafeeq Madathil’s side heading into the break with the lead.

Ahead of the restart, Ambapardiwala rang in the changes, bringing on the quartet of Taorem Kelvin Singh, Monirul Molla, Bekey Oram and Damaitphang Lyngdoh. The Blue Colts came very close to leveling the scores in the 54th minute, when a cross into the box from Bekey was cleared by the Deccan defence into the path of Amay Morajkar. But the midfielder saw his attempted half-volley fly agonizingly over the crossbar from inside the box.

A few minutes past the hour mark, Monirul rose highest to a cross by Ashik Adhikari from a corner, but he could only place his header over the bar. The Blue Colts eventually got their moment to equalize in the 88th minute, when Bekey Oram was brought down in the box, leading the referee to point to the spot. Up stepped Monirul, who placed his shot past the fingertips of Sreenidi’s ‘keeper Mohammad Arbaz, despite the ‘keeper diving the right way.

But there was last minute drama in store for both teams, as Sreenidi Deccan were awarded a penalty under contentious circumstances after Rajanbir was alleged to have handled the ball in the box. Although Sharon dived the right way to parry Umasankar’s first attempt, the midfielder slotted home the rebound to bag the winner.

Bengaluru wrapped up their South Zone group stage campaign with 21 points in their 10 games, winning six, drawing thrice and enduring a solitary defeat. They now await the result of the final game between Sreenidi Deccan FC and Chennaiyin FC to determine their final position in the South Zone qualifying group for the National Group Stage.

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