Durand Cup: Bengaluru FC opens campaign with a hard-fought draw against Indian Air Force FT

Defending champions Bengaluru FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Indian Air Force FT in their opening fixture of the Durand Cup 2023 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Monday.

Defending champions Bengaluru FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Indian Air Force FT in their opening fixture of the Durand Cup 2023 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Monday.

The game was fiercely contested right from the start. However, the youthful Bengaluru FC side dominated ball possession for most of the match, while the opposition relied on counter-attacks.

In the 10th minute, captain Parag Shrivas played a lovely long ball through to Edmund Lalrindika as the latter ran down the left channel, and went past his marker, but his effort at the near post went just wide of the mark.

In the 20th minute, the Indian Air Force side pounced on a schoolboy error from Parag and took the lead through Vivek Kumar against the run of play. The ISL outfit looked to recover and get back in the game, and their forward Edmund seemed the most promising upfront for the Blues.

Near the half-hour mark, he dribbled past the Air Force defence before forcing the keeper into a massive save. Bibiano Fernandes’ men looked more settled towards the end of the first half but were not able to find the back of the net.

Durand Cup: Bengaluru FC opens campaign with a hard-fought draw against Indian Air Force FT
Match no 22 played between Bengaluru FC and Indian Airforce FT for Group C played at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata for the 132 edition of The Durand Cup2023 on 13/08/23. Pic/ Kunal / www.imagesolutionr.in

In the second half, the Blues intensified their level of attack and at the hour mark, Bengaluru FC did get their all-important equalizing goal through Salam Johnson Singh, who hammered it home from the right flank.

Bengaluru FC looked desperate for the winning goal but could only come close to scoring another in the 88th minute when Robin Yadav’s diving header thumped against the post.

The Blues will next square off against their familiar foe, Kerala Blasters FC, at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan on Friday.

Also Read: Chennaiyin FC beats Tribhuvan Army, becomes first team to qualify for the knockouts

Also ReadRonney Wilson inspires Shillong Lajong’s thrilling win over Downtown Heroes

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