In what was an entertaining first leg of the Indian Super League Semifinal clash, Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan cancelled each other out in front of a sold-out GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Manolo Marquez’s side put in a solid display but failed to convert their chances on the night while the Mariners also came close on a couple of occasions to set up a thrilling contest back in Kolkata.
Hyderabad started the game on the front foot, with Mohammad Yasir, Joel Chianese and Nikhil Poojary constantly troubling the visitors’ backline. Javi Siverio got his chances, and forced Vishal Kaith into a couple of superb saves to deny the Yellow and Black an early lead.
Juan Ferrando’s side almost got a goal of their own when they hit the crossbar with not too long left for half-time. Chinglensana Konsham also put in a heroic block just seconds later as the visitors grew into the game but the break.
The teams came out with nothing to separate them, and ended the half the same way. Mohammad Yasir hit the post, while Joel, Javi, Bartholomew Ogbeche, who came off the bench and Rohit Danu failed to make the most of the space they found in the final third.
At the other end, Odei Onaindia and Gurmeet Singh, who was named the Hero of the Match, along with Akash Mishra and Poojary were determined to not give the visitors a lead, keeping the likes of Dimitri Petratos, Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh quite for most of the game.
Neither side afforded the other time or space on the ball to carve out a clear chance for most of the game, and this battle was too close to call at Hyderabad.
The second leg of the semifinal will be played at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata on Monday, March 13.