Bengaluru FC’s nine-match unbeaten streak came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Hyderabad, at the GMC Athletic Stadium, in Bambolim, on Friday. First half goals from Javier Siverio (16’) and Joao Victor (30’) saw Manolo Márquez’s side extend their lead at the top of the Indian Super League table.
Sunil Chhetri became the League’s all-time top scorer with a sharp finish in the 87th minute, but the Blues ran out of time to take anything from the game. Bengaluru remain unmoved from third position on the standings, but have played more games than the chasing pack.
Hyderabad raced to a lead in the 16th minute when Rohit Danu’s cross from the left fell to Siverio after the Bengaluru defence failed to clear their lines. The ball, taking touches off Bart Ogbeche and then Naorem Roshan, found the Spanish striker who hit hard from close to make it 1-0 to the Nizams.
A second lapse in defence on the half-hour mark would cost Bengaluru again, as Hyderabad caught the Blues off-guard with a quickly-taken freekick. Picking a pass from Souvik Chakrabarti, Joao Victor curled his take hard and low, beyond Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to double his side’s lead – one that they would take into half time.
The Blues began the second half with more intent and came close when Chhetri nodded down a long cross for Prince Ibara. The Congolese striker connected his shot well, only for Juanan Gonzalez to throw himself between the ball and goal to keep Hyderabad’s lead intact.
Pezzaiuoli, knowing his side had to chase the game, brought on Udanta Singh for Danish Farooq on the hour-mark, as Bengaluru upped the ante in attack. Later, Iranian midfielder Iman Basafa too came on in place of Bruno Ramires.
With minutes to full time, Chhetri deftly turned in the ball in from an Udanta cut-back to set up a frenetic finish to the game. The goal – Chhetri’s 50th in the League – caused a flutter in the defence, but Hyderabad did enough to hold on and pick all points.
Bengaluru take on NorthEast United next on February 18.
BFC Media Release