Federation Cup finalists, Dempo and Bengaluru FC play out a goalless inaugural I-League match

I league

An evening match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru saw the defending champions Bengaluru FC taking on the three time champions Dempo Sporting Club in the second match of the Hero I-league.

Bengaluru after their recent Federation Cup triumph over Dempo began their title defense at home in front of their loyal fans but eventually failed to impress them with a hard fought draw.

The match began at 7 pm and Dempo were straight away on the attack with two attempts in the 3rd and 4th minute from Debabrata Roy and Lenny Rodrigues.

Plenty of yellow cards were seen in this game and it all started with Debabrata Roy needlessly earning one in the 8th minute itself while Bengaluru’s Robin Singh got his in the 14th for elbowing Dempo defender Cordoza.

Romeo Fernandes of Dempo was carried away on a stretcher after his ankle got caught in the field and was soon substituted by on the 24th minute by Allwyn George. Just a minute before this, the Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri pushed in a sublime pass to his Bengaluru team mate Keegan near the box but the kick landed directly in the hands of the goalkeeper Kattimani.

There was a controversial tackle in the 29th minute on Bengaluru’s Rooney but the referee did not call for a penalty instead kept his cool on the right bottom corner where another incident involving the already yellow carded Robin had transpired.

Rooney who was now making inroads came very close to getting a goal in the 31st minute but Dempo’s Cordoza managed to prevent him. The closest chance came from Dempo (33rd minute) when a straight shot rebound off the goalkeeper Ralte to Dempo’s Nazri but he missed the set opportunity.

Ten minutes down, Robin Singh gave in a fabulous cross Rooney above the goalkeeper who tried his best but the Dempo defender was plain lucky to get his leg to the ball.

A drama enfolded in the 42nd minute when Dempo’s Calum Angus was shown the yellow card and Bengaluru won a penalty. Sunil Chhetri went straight down the middle for goal but the goalkeeper Kattimani kept his eyes on the ball until the last moment and saved it! The goalkeeper was ultimately declared the Hero of the Match as well.

With 2 minutes of added time there was little either of the the teams could manage. and the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of an entertaining first half.

The second half saw Bengaluru starting to put pressure from the beginning and winning the ball quite a few times.

Jewel Raja of Dempo won a free kick in the 52nd minute however no harm was done as the ball swayed away pretty wide of the goal on the left. A golden opportunity was mistaken by Bengaluru’s Rooney after he failed to anticipate Chhetri’s pass yards away from the penalty box in the 59th minute.

Dempo were maintaining a mammoth share of the possession while Bengaluru required their mid fielders to come up and get in passes to Rooney and Robin.

Peter Carvalho was brought in for Jewel Raja by Dempo on the 68th minute and a close shave to the goal was seen in the 72nd minute when Rooney glided in the ball for Chhetri.

7 mins to the 90 minute mark Dempo’s Francis floated in a corner kick, Calum Angus provided a neat header but the defense was successful in mainting the 0-0 scoreline.

A last try from Bengaluru came in on the 89th minute when Lyngdoh ran in a length from the right side but a poor cross was scooped in by the goalkeeper.

In the 3 minutes of injury time, Dempo’s final attempt came when Francis Fernandes laid it up on a platter for Allwyn with a perfect cross from the right but the striker failed to even keep the shot on target.

As the referee blew the full time whistle, the score line read nil-nil.. while Bengaluru had not been up to the mark much to the dismay of their fans, Dempo ended the day with a hard earned point from an away fixture.

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