Bharat FC survived early charge from Dempo SC before holding on to a goalless draw in their debut match in the Hero I-League at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune on Saturday.
Bharat FC coach Stuart Watkiss will be a happy man to survive Dempo onslaught in his first competitive match in the I-League, while Dempo coach Arthur Papas will rue the chances his team failed to convert despite playing better football than the home team.
While it the was season’s first match for Bharat FC, Dempo drew their second straight match. Dempo is placed at fourth position with two points while 7th placed Bharat FC have one point to their tally.
Dempo were the clear favourites for the game as they took on the first timers Bharat FC. Dempo dominated the proceedings as as they began attacking right from the start. Mandar Rao Desai from Dempo was almost closed in the sixth minute when Holicharan Narzary who was down the flank passed the ball to Rao who pulled a good cross which went wide.
The Goans had another chance to take the lead when Carlos Hernandez, who was a few yards away from the goal, took a shot which sailed over the goal post.
Bharat FC also got a couple of opportunities when Steven Benedic Dias delivered a free kick straight to Mehrajuddin Wadoo whose header went down and could not make it to the nets.
Dias got another chance when he took a shot directly towards the goal. But Dempo captain Calum Angus came in between and his header ensured that the ball went out of the danger area.
Dempo continued attacking in the second half as they tried to take the lead. For Bharat FC it was all about good defending which saved the day for the hosts.
Both the teams got a couple of chances but none of them made it to the nets.
Being the first game and playing against the Goan giants, Bharat FC did a good job of holding and snatching a draw.
(Report courtesy I-League Media / Picture courtesy Bharat FC)