Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC and FC Goa played out a goalless draw in the Indian Super League game at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.
Goa asserted themselves physically from the start, the well-marshalled back-line working hard off the ball to deny space for Bengaluru FC’s forwards, with Carl McHugh and Rowllin Borges effectively mopping up.
A new-look Bengaluru FC attack lacked co-ordination. Halicharan Narzary and Rohit Danu, both on full debuts, took their time to bed into the set-up.
Roshan Singh and Suresh Wangjam’s inclusions shored up Bengaluru’s defensive lines, while Keziah Veendorp slotted into defensive midfield.
Despite the lack of Noah Sadaoui’s perpetual goal threat and Brandon Fernandes’ creativity, Victor Rodriguez and Carlos Martinez filled in superbly for Goa.
The visitors came close to scoring twice in the first half,Victor finding an unmarked Martinez with a chipped free-kick but the latter failed to make contact.
Gurpreet Singh, who was the busier of the two keepers, then plunged down to his right to deny Borges’s effort.
The Gaurs’ left-back Jay Gupta looked a constant threat, his fierce shot forcing a save from Gurpreet just past the half-hour mark. The 22-year-old had to be alert defensively, putting in a decisive challenge to thwart Javi Hernandez just before half-time.
Sandesh Jhingan, on his return to Bengaluru, put his body on the line twice to thwart Danu early in the second half.
Both teams continued to create chances but lacked composure while finishing. Raynier Fernandes spurred a golden opportunity to put Goa ahead after Victor picked his run and supplied a glorious pass.
At the other end, ‘keeper Arshdeep miscued a simple pass, but Narzary’s touch left him down.
With both teams in search of the elusive goal, the game opened up considerably. Goa continued to threaten throughout. BFC’s Montenegrin bedrock Slavko Damjanovic put in an immense shift to thwart Goa’s forays.
(Published 26 October 2023, 00:15 IST)